It’s Jose Quintana show on Opening Day for Kodai Senga-less Mets


Thanks to Kodai Senga’s injured shoulder, Jose Quintana will take the mound for the Mets on Friday.

It will be Quintana’s second Opening Day start of his career and first since 2017, when he was with the White Sox.

That’s when Quintana was in the prime of his career, pitching 200 innings a year and coming off his lone All-Star appearance.

Jose Quintana will be starting for the Mets on Opening Day. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The Mets can’t expect those results from Quintana this season, now that he’s 35, with a lot more innings on his left arm, but he’s certainly looking for a better year than his first as a Met, when he missed the first half of the season with fractured ribs.

Quintana said it “means a lot” to start Opening Day, especially considering how rough 2023 was for him.

“Last year was hard, so to get this opportunity to be back and take the ball for Opening Day means a lot,’’ Quintana said after the Mets workout at Citi Field on Wednesday. “I have high expectations. I’m really excited to show how we’re ready.”

The left-hander is in the final season of a two-year, $26 million deal, and if the Mets disappoint again, Quintana figures to be a prime candidate to be moved at the trade deadline.

Kodai Senga will be out with a shoulder injury. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

But like the rest of the Mets — and the rest of the league, really — Quintana is only thinking about getting back to where they think they can be.

“I always expect a lot from myself,’’ Quintana said. “I have a lot of confidence in all my stuff.”

Though last year didn’t go as he would have wanted, Quintana did show flashes of his old self, including strong performances against the Braves and Rangers, and a 10-strikeout outing versus the Phillies.

This will be Quintana’s second Opening Day start of his career. Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

It was just in 2022 when Quintana pitched like an ace for the Cardinals following a midseason trade from the Pirates, when he had a 2.01 ERA in a dozen second-half starts.

Now, Quintana is coming off a spring training in which he finished with a pair of shaky outings against the Marlins and Astros, but he’s had experience in brushing off tough springs before.

This time, he’ll try to fill in for Senga, who is playing catch, but is far from rejoining the rotation.

“We miss him, for sure,’’ Quintana said. “He’s gonna be one of the best pitchers in the league. … I hope he’s back soon. It’s tough when you don’t have a guy like Senga in the rotation. But I feel we’re prepared to compete out there.”


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