By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — The best- laid plans are often derailed by the realities of others, and in the case of White Sox ace left-hander Jose Quintana, he was torched by the home run ball in a 6-3 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
JaCoby Jones got the derby going with a three-run homer that highlighted Detroit’s five-run second inning. Quintana later allowed a two-run homer to Nick Castellanos and a solo shot to Ian Kinsler, getting roughed up for six runs on five hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.
“The top of the second was a rough inning for me,” Quintana said. “A couple of mistakes changes my game. Sometimes you miss your spot, you get hurt by a couple of homers.”
There were plenty of talent evaluators on hand in the stands to watch Quintana, who remains on the trade block. It was also Quintana’s first Opening Day assignment following the team’s offseason trade, and he admitted there were a some nerves.
“I felt it a little bit in the first inning,” Quintana said. After that, I felt really good. One inning changed the game for me.”
Plenty of teams will continue to follow the 28-year-old Quintana for a possible trade, and one bad outing won’t change his value. That said, there also comes the reality check of what can occur to a pitcher during the course of a long season, and longer time frames can skew a player’s worth.
General manager Rick Hahn has acknowledged there are various risks at different junctures of the season for a team like his that’s in rebuilding mode and open to trades. Hahn also knows the process will take great patience.
“As you enter the season, you are carrying a little more risk on players you could have moved,” Hahn said Monday. “Nothing had presented itself that made is think we better make a move now. It just was not even close to getting anything done. As we have had our conversations over the last few months, we were prepared to enter the season (without a deal).”
White Sox manager Rick Renteria — who was making his debut — thought Quintana struggled to find a rhythm.
“One was elevated, the other breaking ball was down to Jones,” Renteria said of two homers in the second inning. “To be honest, by the time we got to the second inning, he was up to 49 pitches. We were starting to get a little concerned. He started to clean it up after that. He took it a far as he could. I thought he did a nice job of recovering.”
Quintana will be observed by opposing teams for as long as he remains with the White Sox, for whom the risk of injury is the biggest concern.
“He kept us in the ballgame,” Renteria said of Quintana. “That is all about his experience. He attacked the zone. His command wasn’t as good as he wanted it to be.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.