All eyes were on Jose Quintana after Joe Maddon told everyone that the new Cubs lefty made a change.
Even Joe Maddon is curious to see how Jose Quintana fares tonight after they addressed some things with him between starts.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 30, 2017
So what did Q actually change?
“We could talk about curveball command hasn’t been as good, or maybe the changeup (wasn’t) utilized enough,” Joe Maddon explained after Jose Quintana’s latest winning start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. But the fastball location hasn’t been what it had been. And that’s what you got to figure out: Why? Things like that are very correctable. Part of it might be just because I’m trying too hard. Sometimes it’s just simple as that.”
Based on Maddon’s comments, Quintana’s changes might have simply been to his fastball location. So let’s look at his recent start to see if there are changes in fastball zone profile.
Indeed, there is quite a dramatic change between Quintana’s most recent start and previous starts as a Cub. Quintana typically attacked the left part of the strike zone prior to Wednesday, but in his start against the Pirates, he instead attacked the right portion of the zone with fastballs.
Start against the Pirates
Previous starts as a Cub
It’s possible this wasn’t the change to which Maddon was referring. Though the difference is undeniable, the scouting report against the Pirates might’ve called for fastballs in that part of the zone. As a result, we shouldn’t say that Quintana has changed how he approaches hitters. Monitoring this going forward, though, is definitely something we should do, especially since Maddon explicitly said changing fastball location was a priority.