Quintana focused on throwing strikes

MESA, Ariz. -- Jose Quintana struck out four Cubs over 3 2/3 innings during Thursday's 8-3 White Sox victory at HoHoKam Park. And during the first couple of years of his Minor League career as part of the Yankees, Quintana fanned 156 over 105 1/3 innings.

Yet, the southpaw appears more worried about throwing strikes than amassing strikeouts.

"In the Minor Leagues, I was able to strike out a lot of batters. Last year I didn't as much, but was able to throw more strikes," said Quintana through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz after Thursday's effort. "I want to be very efficient with my pitches. Pitching to contact is OK, but I want to be able to strike them out too."

Quintana fanned 122 over 185 innings combined between Double-A Birmingham and the White Sox in 2012. His career high for a game is eight, recorded against the Rangers on July 5.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.