CHICAGO - Jose Quintana was working in the weight room at the White Sox clubhouse Sunday morning when manager Robin Ventura asked to speak with him.The humble young hurler couldn't really imagine the news that was to follow: Quintana was named an All-Star for the first time in his career,
CHICAGO - Jose Quintana was working in the weight room at the White Sox clubhouse Sunday morning when manager Robin Ventura asked to speak with him.
The humble young hurler couldn't really imagine the news that was to follow: Quintana was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, replacing Cleveland's Danny Salazar on the American League roster.
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Quintana was given his All-Star jersey in a pregame ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field after Chris Sale received his and Todd Frazier were recognized for being part of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. Quintana will fly out early Monday morning with his family, as the news came too late Sunday to make plans for travel.
"When Robin talked to me, I couldn't believe that," said a beaming Quintana after his team dropped a 2-0 decision to the Braves to end the first half at 45-43. "It's a goal for players, making it to the All-Star Game.
"I'm so happy. All my preparation and work, to get that, it's really exciting for me. I told Sale we are going to have fun."
Over 18 first-half starts, Quintana has produced a 7-8 record with a 3.21 ERA, 105 strikeouts and sits fourth in the AL in innings pitched at 117 2/3. He has a WHIP of 1.11, placing him sixth.
Those numbers overshadowed Quintana's won-loss record, a ledger that improved with two straight victories after losing seven straight and going winless in nine consecutive trips to the mound. His 55 no-decisions since 2012 are the most in the Majors since that time, but Quintana never has pointed a finger and never complained about a perpetual lack of run support.
That attitude makes this honor cherished even more within the White Sox clubhouse.
"Well deserved. Well deserved," said White Sox starter James Shields, who suffered the loss Sunday despite allowing two solo homers over 7 2/3 innings. "He works as hard as anybody in the league. He's such a good guy, a good dude. He has been really, really good all season long. Unfortunately, he hasn't had the run support we would like him to have. But I'm so happy for him."
"You just really pull for a guy that has worked as hard as he does, dealt with the no-decisions and things like that," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who has watched every one of Quintana's pitches. "This might be a little bit of a payback for him handling it so well. It's just really good."
Julio Teheran and Edgar Renteria stand as the other Colombian-born players to make the All-Star team. Teheran, Quintana's friend who he beat on Saturday, will be in San Diego as part of the NL squad.
Salazar's absence probably gives the AL starting nod to Sale for the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard at Petco Park. But Sunday's attention fell upon the 27-year-old who has 12 quality starts, 10.17 baserunners allowed per nine innings and has held opponents to an OPS of .662.
"My plan was to stay here and have fun with my family," Quintana said. "Now, we'll go fly to San Diego."
"Again you take out the record and any numbers that matter, he's at the top," Ventura said. "He's very excited. Our team was very excited for him. You are just happy."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.