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Quintana touched by White Sox tribute

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- Jose Quintana said that he became emotional during the video tribute by the White Sox on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. The new Cubs pitcher, whom the White Sox traded to the other side of town on July 13, took advantage of Wednesday and Thursday to say goodbye to his former teammates.

"I miss those guys," Quintana said on Thursday. "Now I have to focus on trying to help my team here and try to do my job. It's a really good opportunity for me to be in first place. I want to do the best I can."

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CHICAGO -- Jose Quintana said that he became emotional during the video tribute by the White Sox on Wednesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. The new Cubs pitcher, whom the White Sox traded to the other side of town on July 13, took advantage of Wednesday and Thursday to say goodbye to his former teammates.

"I miss those guys," Quintana said on Thursday. "Now I have to focus on trying to help my team here and try to do my job. It's a really good opportunity for me to be in first place. I want to do the best I can."

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The left-hander, who is 2-0 in two starts with the Cubs and will make his third on Friday against the Brewers, was surprised by the tribute.

"It was amazing, exciting -- I almost cried," he said. "I appreciate it. ... I want to say 'thank you' to the fans."

Quintana had warned manager Joe Maddon that he needed a day to say goodbye to everybody.

"He told me, 'I'll be fine tomorrow,'" Maddon said on Thursday.

"I took time to say goodbye, and [told the White Sox players] that I'll watch their games," Quintana said. "It was my first team. They gave me a really good opportunity, and I respect everybody."

• The Cubs may decide they don't need to acquire another catcher if rookie Victor Caratini continues to have solid outings like Wednesday's. Caratini was matched up with Jake Arrieta, making just his fourth start behind the plate since being promoted from Triple-A Iowa on June 30.

"We talk between innings," Arrieta said of working with the rookie. "He asks me what I want to do against the next couple guys coming up in the order. He's a young guy, but he's pretty advanced. He understands he needs to talk to the starting pitcher or whoever is in the game at that point in time to address what needs to be done over the next inning. I respect that.

"He also had a couple great at-bats tonight, a huge hit," Arrieta said. "He's a surprising player. [Willson Contreras] being our starting catcher the majority of the time and having a young guy like that who cares as much as he does means a lot to us."

Caratini opened the Cubs' four-run fifth inning on Wednesday with a base hit. He fell behind, 0-2, against White Sox starter James Shields, then fouled off five pitches before hitting an opposite-field single.

Video: CHC@CWS: Caratini's single in the 5th inning

Arrieta likes working with both of the young catchers.

"The most important thing is developing that relationship and continuing to have that progress to the point where we don't have to shake [them off] multiple times," Arrieta said. "These guys study, these guys are smart, and they want to win. I think all those variables play in our favor, especially with the mindset we have here."

Maddon compared Caratini's arrival to that of a young quarterback walking into a huddle and taking charge.

"The strongest takeaway from me is how non-overwhelmed he is," Maddon said. "Game-planning wise, he's been great. He's not been overwhelmed by anything and understands it, and he carries himself really well.

"For a young player, the fact he's not intimidated by catching a veteran pitcher and wanting to get on the same page, that makes you feel even better about the guy."

Mike Montgomery saved the Cubs' bullpen by pitching 2 1/3 innings in relief on Wednesday. Maddon had planned on having the lefty follow Arrieta. Montgomery had been in the rotation, but with the return of Kyle Hendricks from the disabled list, he's now back in the 'pen.

"[Montgomery] needs to be continually stretched out," Maddon said. "I don't want him to atrophy back to a short reliever. It worked out perfectly, and he did his thing."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs, Jose Quintana