SURPRISE, Ariz. -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has a bone to pick with those people who didn't realize Jose Quintana's excellence/dominance until watching him pitch for Colombia against Team USA in 2017 World Baseball Classic Pool play Friday.Also, don't stop at consistent or reliable when describing Quintana."He deserves
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has a bone to pick with those people who didn't realize Jose Quintana's excellence/dominance until watching him pitch for Colombia against Team USA in 2017 World Baseball Classic Pool play Friday.
Also, don't stop at consistent or reliable when describing Quintana.
"He deserves a better word than that. He's good," said a proud but defiant Cooper of the All-Star hurler. "Now all of a sudden he pitches on a big stage like that and people get a chance to see. I'm certainly happy for him.
"It was kind of like [Mark] Buehrle. Nobody was on to Buehrle for a couple of years. This guy, he's a freaking quality start machine. He hits the glove as good anybody I've ever had. Gets ahead, has four pitches he changes speeds with."
Cooper wasn't done in his praise for Quintana. It was a sentiment shared by everyone in the White Sox organization.
Quintana no-hit Team USA for 5 2/3 innings before allowing Brandon Crawford's single on a line drive to right field. With a World Baseball Classic pitch limit of 65, Quintana was removed at 63. And somewhat like the 59 other no-decisions he has amassed since '12, the Colombia bullpen could not hold a 2-0 lead.
"I was pulling for Colombia as long as he was in the game," Cooper said. "Once he was out, I said, 'OK, let America go and win it now.' I think America is lucky he couldn't go any further in that game. I also think this might be good for America to get a little scare like that. It will help that club actually. Now I'm pulling for them the rest of the way. But how could I not pull for Q?"
"It's hard to say he's underrated," White Sox starter Carlos Rodon said. "He faced an All-Star lineup and literally no-hit them. That speaks for itself. He's definitely an ace. One of the best ones. Easily in the top 10."
Rodon learned from Quintana by being his throwing partner last year and simply by watching him on the mound, as he painted a picture in terms of mechanics from another lefty. Cooper, meanwhile, never had any doubts about Quintana's ability and lofty status.
"He's just as reliable as Chris Sale, except he didn't do it as sexy," Cooper said. "I love the kid. I love him.
"In every sport, everybody likes the gun to light up, likes to see 97 or 98, strike out 10 guys a game. But there's different styles of pitching. He's just quiet, humble, totally prepared guy. I've been lucky enough to see every pitch he's thrown in the big leagues."
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.