Ronnier Mustelier arrived in America in 2009 and his baseball dreams came true when the New York…
Quintana Keeps Rolling Along
Pitching in only five games in Charleston, he put up stagnant numbers but it gave him higher-level of competition experience that has now translated into the 2011 season.
As the 2011 baseball season kicked off, Quintana found himself on the high-A Tampa squad where he has pitched remarkably well.
Appearing in 20 games entering Friday's start, he has seen time in the bullpen and also as of late the starting rotation. Quintana, who tossed seven more shutout innings against Palm Beach, was sporting a 5-0 record with a 1.72 ERA while striking out 47 batters before the game. He had pitched a total of 47 innings and has felt strong on the mound.
Quintana carries three pitches in his arsenal; a fastball, curveball and a changeup. His fasball sits from 90-91 but has reached 93 this season. His curveball is known to have solid depth to it, allowing the ball to break effectively. His third and final pitch, the changeup, has been his number one pitch this season and for Quintana, he knows it.
"I've gotten a lot better working on my changeup and it's been my favorite pitch this season," Quintana said through a translator. "It's been a great pitch for me and I have been throwing it in all different counts with confidence."
Tampa Yankees catcher, Mitch Abeita, has seen Quintana in many different roles this season, but has seen him throw his new changeup pretty effectively.
"His changeup is coming along," Abeita said. "It fades the other way on batters, making it very challenging for righties and lefties."
As Quintana continues to develop his changeup, Abeita believes that his fastball command is what is really making Quintana become a stand out pitcher for Tampa.
"Fastball command and locating it inside and outside is really what I have noticed what have gotten the batters out," Abeita said.
"Most of the time when you can command the pitch inside and outside of the plate, you will see the weaknesses of the hitters. You can tell if they are looking inside or outside, and good fastball command has made his secondary pitches that much more effective."
When the 2011 season got under way, Quintana was slotted as a bullpen pitcher where he would come out of the pen and pitch effectively. As of late though, his role has changed and he has become a full-time starter. It could be challenging for a pitcher to make the switch to a starting pitcher, but to become a pitcher who records outs can be harder. Abeita has seen the guts Quintana has shown this season, accepting change with open arms.
"He's been given a lot of different roles and has done very well in every situation he has been put in," Abeita said. "He has a lot of flexibility out of the bullpen, whether it is late or early in the game and now as a starter. He's been impressive in my opinion."
As the second half of the season is through twenty-plus games, Quintana as a starting pitcher would like to keep improving on throwing strikes and attacking the strike zone. With an ERA under 2.00, he has his attitude to thank for that.
"I feel great this year," Quintana said. "I've been really aggressive on every pitch and have been attacking the zone with all three of my pitches."
"As I continue this season, I hope to just keep working as hard as I can every day and focus on throwing strikes. If I do that, I think I will find success."
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