Jose Quintana may have made his final start of the 2022 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Last night, Quintana went 5.2 shutout innings against the Phillies, following seven shutout innings against the Marlins in his previous start.
On the season, Quintana has a 3.50 ERA in 103 innings, which is backed up by a 3.24 FIP and a 3.78 xFIP. If nothing else, Quintana has given the Pirates a solid starter to lead their rotation. The Pirates don’t have a contending rotation, but these numbers would qualify Quintana for a starting spot in such a rotation.
The one issue that could impact Quintana’s trade value is that he’s mostly doing this at PNC Park, which is very friendly to left-handed pitchers.
Quintana has a 2.42 ERA in 63.1 innings this year at home. On the road, he has a 5.22 ERA in 39.2 innings.
His road numbers are a smaller sample, which works two ways. First, it means that Quintana’s overall numbers are largely influenced by his home numbers. Second, it means a few bad outings can blow up the road numbers.
Quintana saw that this month, giving up ten runs in 9.1 innings combined to Colorado and Milwaukee on the road. Quintana has seen better starts on the road — his back-to-back outings in San Diego and Los Angeles were a better combo than Colorado and Milwaukee — though that’s where the questions come up.
If we were to use game score to get an overall feel for his success, Quintana has a game score of 50 or higher in half of his road starts. By comparison, he has a game score of 50 or higher in two-thirds of his home starts. Quintana has as many sub-50 game scores on the road as he does at home — despite four more starts at home.
Quintana’s value probably doesn’t change much over the last two outings. He’s shown that he can dominate at PNC Park. He’s even shown that he can dominate really good teams at PNC Park. Some of his best starts at home have come against the Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees, and Brewers. Even without the home park factor, that has to look good to a contender.
I have no doubt that Quintana will get traded. He probably won’t land much of a return, despite the overall numbers. Realistically, he’s more of a complementary piece to a contender, rather than a guy who could lead the way.
That said, if the contender was a team in Pittsburgh, it might be different.
This is Quintana’s age 33 season. He clearly has more left, and clearly benefits from PNC Park. His cost this year was $2 million, as he was coming off two down years since the pandemic. He’s bounced back this year to his pre-2020 value.
Quintana will probably cost more next year. He probably won’t be out of the Pirates’ price range. The Pirates are at the point where they need to get serious about upgrading the MLB team. That requires more than just getting help from the farm system. Quintana upgraded the 2022 roster, even though the 2022 Pirates aren’t contenders.
If the Pirates want to try and contend in 2023, they will need at least one veteran starter, and probably two. Quintana has shown that he can be a reliable starter, and will most likely be dealt in the next few days to a contender, where he can continue to display his value. After this season, the Pirates should look at him to help them try to contend in 2023.
With the way Quintana plays up at PNC Park, the Pirates could get an affordable starter who can fit in a contending rotation, and who can give their team specifically more value than others.
Regardless of what happens with Quintana over the next few days, the Pirates should bring him back in 2023.