Jose Quintana deserved a better fate in what could be his final major-league start for a little while.
After limiting Tampa Bay to one run -- a solo homer off the bat of Luke Scott -- through 3 23 innings, Quintana was tossed for throwing a pitch behind Ben Zobrist's knees. And with John Danks set to come off the disabled list on Monday, Quintana probably will head back to the minors and continue his work in Charlotte.
He didn't have a chance to earn his second major-league win and, more importantly, finish off another fine outing. It was cut short far too early on a questionable decision by Mark Wegner.
But if Quintana is Charlotte-bound in the coming days, he'll leave the White Sox having done everything in his power to prove he's the best option the team has if another starter hits the disabled list.
In 15 13 innings, Quintana has a 1.76 ERA with nine strikeouts, five walks and one home run allowed. Those aren't great peripherals, and his .119 BABIP would hardly last, but he's done everything asked.
He pitched 5 23 scoreless innings in relief of Philip Humber May 7, saving the White Sox bullpen during a long stretch of games without an off day. Two and a half weeks later, he made his first major-league start, this time holding the Indians to two runs over six innings. And he looked on his way to another quality start on Wednesday before getting the boot.
And it's worth noting Quintana has yet to pitch in Triple-A -- the 23-year-old moved straight from Double-A to the majors and was called up to Charlotte hours before his latest promotion to Chicago. In fact, coming in to this season, the highest level at which Quintana pitched was the Yankees' high-A affiliate -- and over half his appearances there were in relief.
If everything goes right, the Sox won't need Quintana again this season. But if they do, they'll hope he can pitch as well as he did in the last month.