JUNE 22: Quintana will indeed work out of the bullpen, manager Joe Maddon tells reporters (including J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group).
JUNE 21: Left-hander Jose Quintana is back on the Angels’ active roster after being reinstated off the 10-day injured list. Another roster moves seems to be coming for the team, as the Halos also announced that right-handers Jaime Barria and Chris Rodriguez were optioned to the minors (Barria to Triple-A and Rodriguez to Double-A) after yesterday’s game.
Quintana hit the IL on May 31 due to shoulder inflammation, continuing a tough beginning to his tenure in Anaheim. Quintana had a 7.22 ERA over his first 33 2/3 innings of the season, though his SIERA is only 4.48 — a very low 58.6% strand rate and a whopping .400 BABIP have contributed to Quintana’s lack of bottom-line success. On the plus side, the southpaw has a career-best 30.1% strikeout rate.
The Angels signed Quintana to a one-year, $8MM contract in free agency last winter with the expectation that the veteran would at least bring some durability and innings-eating ability to the pitching staff, yet Quintana’s return to the 26-man roster might not necessarily auger a return to the rotation. The Halos are already working with a six-man staff, and Patrick Sandoval has pitched well as Quintana’s fill-in. While youngster Griffin Canning has been inconsistent and Dylan Bundy has been rocked over his recent starts, it doesn’t seem like either would be displaced for Quintana, so the veteran lefty might find himself in the bullpen.
A long-relief or swingman role would allow the Angels to keep Quintana relatively stretched out for a return to the rotation if necessary, and a stint in the pen could help Quintana get on track. Los Angeles can use all the bullpen help it can get, as the Halos relief corps ranks in the bottom third of the league in most pitching categories.