By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The Federacion Colombiana De Beisbol announced 12-year Major League Baseball veteran Jose Quintana as the starting pitcher for Game 1 against Mexico at the World Baseball Classic.
Colombia will play in Pool C of the 2023 World Baseball Classic playing also against the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. They qualified for the 2017 World Baseball Classic to make their first appearance in the tournament, and went 1-2 in Pool C in Miami at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, playing close games against the Dominican Republic, falling 10-3 in 11 innings to the D.R. and losing 3-2 in 10 innings to the United States.
Manager Jolbert Cabrera will have a great roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic, including key pitchers Julio Teheran and Nabil Crismatt, who bring Major League Baseball experience to the Colombia pitching staff.
Quintana played for the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first half of the 2022 season before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29 with Chris Stratton for Malcom Nunez and Johan Oviedo. During the 2022 season, Quintana had a 6-7 record in 32 games, throwing 165.2 innings and striking out 137 batters before being signed in the offseason to a two-year deal worth $26 million by the New York Mets. Quintana pitched against the United States in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, going 5.2 innings allowing one earned run, one hit, and striking out four in a 3-2 loss.
Colombia is ranked 11th in the World Baseball Rankings Softball Confederation rankings. This World Baseball Classic will be a huge test for a country developing its baseball talent pool.
Quintana can also fill a hole in the rotation for the New York Mets during the 2023 season if he is capable of pitching under pressure.
Colombia will play Mexico to open the World Baseball Classic on March 11 at 2:30 p.m. EST at Chase Field in Phoenix on Fox.