Home News Jose Quintana to make fifth rehab start ahead of Mets return

Jose Quintana to make fifth rehab start ahead of Mets return

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Jose Quintana declared he is “close,” but the Mets have decided his season debut will be delayed a bit longer.

The lefty will make a fifth rehab start, after his fourth was brief, before he joins the Mets’ rotation.

The Mets elected to give Quintana, who is rehabbing from bone-graft surgery in March that was necessitated by a rib fracture, another outing because he lasted just 2 ²/₃ innings with Triple-A Syracuse on Friday.

The Mets hoped to stretch him out to five innings, but he walked three in the third inning and had to be pulled after 64 pitches.

“Third inning, lost a little bit of my command,” said Quintana, who threw a bullpen session before the Mets beat the Giants, 8-4, at Citi Field on Sunday.

Quintana said he feels “good, feel healthy,” and was not concerned by the bad inning.

Jose Quintana was taken aback by the amount of stars in the Mets locker room.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

In his first three rehab starts, he allowed one earned run in 8 ²/₃ innings.

Manager Buck Showalter said the club has a tentative plan for when and where Quintana will pitch next, but next week’s All-Star break will complicate the thinking.

When the Mets reorganize the rotation following their four days off, Quintana likely will join the group.

The 34-year-old, who pitched to a 2.93 ERA in 32 starts with the Pirates and Cardinals last year, will be a welcomed addition for a club that has struggled both in the back of the rotation and in receiving length from its starters.

The Mets have tried to rest their older starters as much as possible, and Showalter has shown an openness to a six-man rotation.

But Quintana, Carlos Carrasco and David Peterson would have to show they belong behind Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga.

“He feels good physically,” Showalter said of Quintana. “That’s great.”

Starling Marte went 1-for-5 with an RBI single in his return after being absent from the lineup for two games straight.

Marte received a short break both as a reset and because Showalter wanted to get Mark Canha (on Friday) and Luis Guillorme (on Saturday) into the lineup.

Entering play, Marte was 4-for-21 without an extra-base hit in his past six games in what has been a poor first half.

But with Pete Alonso on third base in the seventh inning, Marte stuck out his bat and blooped a hit into center field. Showalter said Marte’s next turn at the plate — a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning — “was one of the better at-bats he’s had in a while.”

“It’s funny how a swinging bunt, a broken-bat single, your whole mentality changes,” Showalter said.

Rookie Grant Hartwig, who did not allow a run in the fifth and sixth innings and struck out three, earned his first major league win.

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