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Quintana tosses sim game to stay on track

Cubs left-hander puts in work on changeup during team's off-day
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- The rest of the Cubs had Monday off, but Jose Quintana stayed on his schedule and threw 63 pitches over five innings in a simulated game against Minor Leaguers at Sloan Park.

"Honestly, I like real games," Quintana said. "This is a good time to practice. Today I worked more on my changeup."

MESA, Ariz. -- The rest of the Cubs had Monday off, but Jose Quintana stayed on his schedule and threw 63 pitches over five innings in a simulated game against Minor Leaguers at Sloan Park.

"Honestly, I like real games," Quintana said. "This is a good time to practice. Today I worked more on my changeup."

In his next outing, the lefty was expected to throw about 85 pitches as he preps for his first full season with the Cubs. They acquired him last July from the White Sox in exchange for Eloy Jimenez.

The White Sox ranked 12th in the American League last season in runs, with 706, while the Cubs were second in the National League, with 822. In Quintana's 18 starts with the White Sox, they averaged 2.83 runs per game, while the Cubs averaged four runs per game in his 14 starts with them.

"We have a really good team," Quintana said of the Cubs. "I saw that support in the second half. I'm just going to try to keep the games close to win. I hope we can get that support all season."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Jose Quintana