Hickey: 'Aggression' Helping Quintana

Jim Hickey has challenged Jose Quintana to attack the strike zone.

Mully & Haugh Show
September 12, 2018 - 11:21 am
Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana

Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) All along, the Cubs have stood by their strong belief in the talents of left-hander Jose Quintana. But what they wanted to see was a change in the way he attacked hitters.

Quintana has been pitching some of his best baseball in a Cubs uniform recently, going 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his last five starts. The success has stemmed from a change in philosophy offered by Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey, who joined the Mully & Haugh Show on Wednesday morning to explain the difference. 

"In one word, 'aggression,'" Hickey said. "He seems to be more aggressive. He possesses all these abilities to do the things that he's doing over these last eight or 10 starts or so. In the beginning of the year, he was extremely cautious. I thought he was trying to miss fast. I just simply encouraged him with a couple of tiny tweaks but nothing to really speak of, just encouraged him to be aggressive. Challenged him to have a 15-pitch inning or less, three-pitch at-bats or less and to throw strike one."

Quintana pitched 6 2/3 innings of shutout baseball for the Cubs on Tuesday night, helping his team to a 3-0 win over the Brewers. With that, the Cubs remained in first place and opened up a two-game lead.

The Cubs have struggled to find consistency in their starting rotation this season, but having a more steady Quintana would be important. Aggression will be the key for Quintana as he moves forward into even more meaningful starts for the Cubs.

"If he continues to do that, then he'll be successful," Hickey said. "Every once in a while, he's going to take his lumps because you're in the striek zone against major league hitters. But that's the way he's got to be successful."