Jose Quintana says he’s not distracted by trade rumors

 

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana insists there are no distractions, even though his name has been mentioned in trade rumors throughout the offseason.

“No. Absolutely not,’’ Quintana said Wednesday.

On the second day of spring training, Quintana is doing his best to block out the possibility of being traded as the White Sox rebuild.

“I feel really good, excited for a new year, a new camp, spring training again,’’ said Quintana, who made the All-Star team last season. “I got to smell the grass when you go to the field, and I’m happy to be here.’’

The Sox have talked to the Pirates, Astros and Yankees, among other teams, about a trade and are known to have been close with one team. But things seem to have cooled down somewhat. At least for now.

“We have had extensive conversations on various fronts and as we sit here today, there’s nothing that’s gnawing at us or appealing enough to make us move,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said.

Quintana seems to be going with the flow.

“Well, you never know what’s going to happen but during the offseason, I heard a lot of rumors,’’ he said. “But I said the same thing every time, you don’t have control over that. Keep doing my preparation for the new year, new season and that’s about it.

“Yeah, it’s a little bit hard when you hear too many things about rumors every time. But I don’t pay attention to that. I just put my focus on all the things I need to do. Every bullpen, workouts and everything it takes to be ready.’’

The Sox have talked to the Pirates, Astros and Yankees, among other teams, about a trade and are known to have been close on at least one front. But things seem to have cooled down somewhat. At least for now.

“We have had extensive conversations on various fronts and as we sit here today there’s nothing that’s gnawing at us or appealing enough to make us move,” general manager Rick Hahn said Tuesday.

Quintana seems to be rolling with the flow.

“Well you never know what’s going to happen but during the offseason I heard a lot of rumors,” he said. “But I said the same thing every time, you don’t have control over that. Keep doing my preparation for the new year, new season and that’s about it.

“Yeah it’s a little bit hard when you hear too many things about rumors every time. But I don’t pay attention to that. I just put my focus on all the things I need to do. Every bullpen, workouts and everything it takes to be ready.”

 

Throwing heat

Flame-throwing prospects Zack Burdi and Michael Kopech are catch partners, and they aired it out with each other Wednesday. Burdi said his hand probably hurt more.

“He was wailing them at me and he had the wind at his back,’’ said Burdi, a 2016 first-round draft pick. “I’ve played catch with him before and there’s a good jump to it but there was a jump with a second gust to it. He blew me up pretty good today. But he’s good to throw with.”

Burdi is altering his leg kick, and minor-league pitching coordinator Richard Dotson liked what he saw from his bullpen session.

“I just need to get the ball out of my mitt so it’s not lagging so much and the balls are fading away or fading down,’’ Burdi said. “Just trying to live in the strike zone a bit more.”

Moncada in the field

Top prospect Yoan Moncada’s hitting will be his calling card. In the field, the 21-year-old has some work to do.

“He has a fundamental base to work with,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. “We’re going to try to get him to be a little more stable underneath. We saw a couple plays where his feet spun out from underneath him, which means he’s getting his head over his body a little bit too much. You can do that as a hitter, too.

“The balance points are lost and you end up losing your footing. As long as he keeps his legs underneath him, he’ll be pretty stable and turn some of the double plays.’’

Photo by Daryl Van Schouwen.

Yoan Moncada catches a break during workouts Wednesday at Camelback Ranch. (Photo by Daryl Van Schouwen)

Two-strike approach

Renteria is emphasizing better two-strike approaches to hitting and is already implementing it.

“We’ve talked about it a lot already,’’ Renteria said.

Name change for Sanchez

Infielder Carlos Sanchez will now be known as Yolmer Sanchez, which is his given first name.

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Email: dvanschouwen@suntimes.com

 


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