Setting expectations for Jose Quintana in 2023

Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals - Game Two
Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals - Game Two / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

A newcomer to the New York Mets starting rotation for the 2023 season, Jose Quintana is someone all fans are hoping can make us forget all about the existence of Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt. Quintana has signed up for two years in New York in a career that has included a lot of time with both Chicago baseball teams.

Quintana was the subject of a rare trade between the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs back in 2017. He’ll join the Mets after an incredibly successful rebound season split between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. He’ll pitch at age 34 next season after going 6-7 with a 2.93 ERA in 165.2 innings of work.

Can he give the Mets something similar in 2023?

Setting expectations for Mets pitcher Jose Quintana in 2023

Last season was a career-saver for Quintana who had already been pitching more in relief than as a starter the year prior. Once an absolute workhorse, logging 200+ innings from 2013-2016, time seemed to catch up with him. His performance with the Cubs was much less than what he gave the White Sox. To even think he’d be on the radar as a good option for these Mets comes as a surprise. He has his awesome 2022 performance to thank for this.

Quintana won’t go retro and reach the 200-inning mark like he did a decade ago for the first time. The 165.2 innings in 32 starts from last season comes out to an average of just over 5 innings per start. It’s definitely lower than we’d like to see.

This is the type of pitcher Quintana is at this point. Buck Showalter will look to get him through the fifth with a potential hook in the middle of the inning if all doesn’t go well. He’s tracking toward being similar to Rich Hill, a pitcher who could give you five great innings and maybe once in a while offer up one more.

If Quintana can give the Mets 30 starts and an ERA better than 3.50, we should be very thankful. He proved last year he can do it. Combined with the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals, he was able to do far more.

Quintana’s innings limits may only become an issue if the Mets are unable to solve bullpen questions. Knowing they’ll need three or four relievers available whenever he starts is a bit of a burden. We’ll also need to question if last year was the last successful season of his career. Quintana is actually one of the younger veteran pitchers on the roster yet he feels like he’s in the same category as Carlos Carrasco who is nearer to his retirement.

Let’s hope Quintana can win 10 games, make 28 starts, and give the Mets a satisfying 3.33 ERA. He won’t dominate but his left arm will help give opponents a different taste than the Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander duo at the front of the rotation. We’ll settle for a bit less. As much as wins don’t matter for a starting pitcher, Quintana’s aim should be to keep the Mets in games.

Next. 15 worst free agent signings in Mets history. dark