Yankees targeting Pirates starting pitching after ‘hitting pause’ on Luis Castillo

Alexander Wilson
jose quintana, yankees, pirates
Jul 15, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman are leaving no stone unturned ahead of the trade deadline. With needs in the outfield, starting pitching rotation, and bullpen, Cashman needs to be extremely diligent about the process of elimination.

The most sought-after starting pitcher on the market has been Luis Castillo of the Cincinnati Reds. The Yankees are connected to Castillo every season, but this one makes more sense given the team’s World Series aspirations.

Castillo is having a phenomenal campaign, recording a 2.77 ERA over 78 innings pitched. Castillo has tossed over 169 innings three times in his career, showcasing his longevity and experience with a heavy workload.

He’s recording 9.46 strikeouts per nine, a 75.3% left on base rate, and 48.5% ground ball rate. He features a career-best HR/FB ratio of 7.7%.

Nonetheless, with Washington National superstar Juan Soto hitting the market, a lot of teams have shifted their attention to see what it would require to land him.

Per Jim Bowden of The Athletic, the Yankees and others have “hit pause” on acquiring Luis Castillo.

Pittsburgh Pirates starter José Quintana could fit the bill if the Yankees want to target a cheaper option.

According to Robert Murray, the Yankees and several other teams are interested in Pirates’ Jose Quintana, a left-handed pitcher having a resurgent 2022 season.

What would Jose Quintana bring to the New York Yankees?

At 33 years old, Quintana hosts a 3.70 ERA over 97.1 innings pitched. His 7.86 strikeouts per nine are the lowest since 2016, but he has recorded a 71.7% left on base rate and 45.1 percent ground ball rate.

Quintana features a 4-seam fastball, curveball, change-up, and sinker. His 4-seam is his most utilized pitch at 35.3%, averaging out at 91 mph. Opposing hitters are batting .227 against his 4-seam, generating a 35.7% WHIFF rate and 17.8% put-away rate.

Quintana’s best pitch is by far his curveball, throwing it 26.4% of the time at 78.5 mph. Batters are hitting .206 against it with a 30.7% WHIFF rate and 22.2% put away rate.

Over the past five years, Quintana hasn’t been the most lethal pitcher. He was great during his time with the White Sox, throwing over 200 innings in four of five seasons.

However, Quintana doesn’t have the same stamina he once contained. Jose gives you the feeling that he could revert to being average at any given moment, which isn’t what the Yankees need at this point in the season.

They’re better off going for the home run starting pitcher in Castillo and making a legitimate push during the postseason. Unless they are able to acquire both with Quintana garnering an easy deal.