Team Colombia has made their first move in preparation for next year’s World Baseball Classic by adding White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana to the roster. The 27-year-old was born in Arjona, Bolivar, Colombia and will be playing in his first Classic in March.
Quintana has been one of the most underrated pitchers in the American League the past five seasons, quietly putting up impressive seasons since his debut in 2012. 2016 was his fourth straight season surpassing 200 innings for the White Sox, which has kept him cemented in the rotation right behind ace Chris Sale. He earned his first All-Star selection this past season and finished the campaign at 12-13 with a 3.20 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, and 181 K’s, all career highs.
He has fallen somewhat under the radar while playing for the White Sox, as his lack of run support has left him with just a .500 W-L%. However, Team Colombia may not be the only new team he’ll be playing for in 2017, as he has been on the trade block the past season and a half. The White Sox are looking to exchange him for young talent amidst their rebuild. Quintana could very well be a number one starter on many Major League teams, and a change of scenery may provide him with a chance to show he can be an ace.
2017 will be the first WBC that Colombia will be taking part in after qualifying for tournament play with wins over Spain and Panama twice. They did not enter in 2006 and 2009 and failed to qualify in 2013. Other possible additions to the team are Donovan Solano, Jorge Alfaro, and Julio Teheran. Quintana is the first Major Leaguer to commit to Team Colombia, and will likely start Colombia’s WBC opener on March 10th against Team USA.
Colombia was placed in Pool C where they will face off against the United States, Canada, and the Dominican Republic.