What exactly is the thought process behind the sophomore jinx that supposedly endangers the second season of successful rookie ballplayers? I get the general idea but specifically I don’t think it could actually apply to pitchers. Sure some might get a big head and come into their second season throwing all gas but for the most part, pitchers like Chicago White Sox starter Jose Quintana have an advantage going into year two. Allow me to explain.
Quintana came in last season when John Danks was injured. He pitched great for a long time. Some have even said that he would be an obvious choice for team MVP. As the season went on his ERA began to climb a little and towards the very end it climbed higher still. The reason given is one that affects every rookie pitcher that starts in the big leagues. He wasn’t used to throwing that many innings. Specifically he threw 83 more innings overall than he ever had before. Of course his numbers climbed, his arm was tired.
This season he knew what he was getting into. He spent the off-season working on strength and conditioning that should help him stay stronger through the end of the season. Considering the success he had when his arm was fresh last season, the sky is the limit for Quintana’s second year. I would be looking for somewhere around a 1.100 WHIP and an ERA below 3.00 because that is where his minor league numbers stayed. In the end, if he gets support, he could easily put up 15 wins. That would be substantial from the fifth spot in the rotation.