Quintana puts Sox in a bind

Jose Quintana has been reliable while filling in for John Danks in the White Sox's rotation. Mike DiNovo/US Presswire

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Quintana has proven he can be a consistent major eague starter.

Quintana showed again Wednesday he had big league stuff, allowing two runs in six innings in a 4-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. He has a 2.05 ERA in five appearances, which has included three starts and 22 innings.

That’s good and sort of bad for the White Sox.

The good is obvious. Every organization is looking for as many reliable starters as possible, and at 23 year old the left-handed Quintana could be one who stays around awhile.

The bad part is Quintana’s success presents a difficult upcoming decision. The White Sox have to figure out what to do with him when John Danks is healthy enough to return to the rotation, which is likely next week.

The easy decision is to send Quintana back down. He wasn’t expected to be in the rotation this season and could benefit from more instructional development. He hasn’t even pitched in Triple-A in his career.

But while that’s the simple move, it may not be the best move for this year’s White Sox, who appear as if they’re going to be in a pennant race this summer. The truth is Quintana has been more consistent than starters Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber of late. Quintana has given the White Sox a shot every time he’s pitched.

Humber has been either really good or really bad and has a 2-3 record with a 5.68 ERA in 10 starts. Floyd has allowed five or more runs in his last four starts and is 4-5 with a 5.32 ERA in 11 starts.

Floyd has had struggles before and has found ways to even out, so it’s unlikely the White Sox would put him in the bullpen. He’ll be given more time.

Humber is another tricky player. Although he’s had horrid outings, giving up five or more runs in four starts, he’s also been terrific and has had six starts in which he’s allowed three runs or less, including a perfect game. He’s what you often expect of a No. 5 starter.

The White Sox could find a spot for Quintana in the bullpen and use him as a long reliever and occasional starter, but that may get him less work than he could use right now.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura realizes the predicament Quintana is putting the organization in.

“He pitched great,” Ventura said. “He got a couple runs there, but he’s been impressive for us filling in for Johnny (Danks.) Tonight, he just continued to prove he’s going to get another shot. He’s proved he can pitch up here.

“Yeah, (it would be hard to send him down.) He’s done some good things for us. You’re always going to keep your eye on him.”

Quintana is a company man, or at least that’s what he said after Wednesday’s game.

“I do feel that I deserve at least staying here until Johnny comes back,” said Quintana through a team translator. “But it’s just one of those where I’m going to do as they ask me and just get out there and try to do the best when I am called upon.”