DENVER -- The same question applies to every Jose Quintana start for the White Sox between now and at least Aug. 1.
And that question would be: Is this Quintana's last trip to the mound for the South Siders? It was asked again Saturday night, after the subject of numerous trade conversations and rumors struck out 10 over 5 1/3 innings during a 5-4 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.
There's a good chance the answer won't change, because neither Quintana nor anyone else in the clubhouse has control of the upcoming decisions made by the rebuilding organization.
"I don't think about that right now. I'm focusing on doing my job," said Quintana after throwing 66 of his 103 pitches for strikes. "The first half has ended for me now and I'm focused on the second half.
"Try to do a better job and recover my body. I know that the trades are around me, but that's part of the game. I don't have control in that. I just have control on throwing the ball well."
With scouts from the Yankees, Cardinals, Orioles, Royals, Angels and Blue Jays among the group in attendance, Quintana yielded three runs on five hits. Two of those runs came via Nolan Arenado's first-inning home run, with Quintana retiring 14 of the next 16.
Quintana expertly used his curveball in a Coors Field environment that doesn't often play well on offspeed pitches. The southpaw recorded 10 swinging strikes on his curve and seven of his 10 strikeouts came off the curve as well.
An eighth-inning run for the Rockies tied the game and left Quintana with a Major League-leading 65th no-decision since 2012. But as has been the case since he arrived with the White Sox, Quintana was unfazed by the lack of individual victory.
His greater focus came on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly, marking the first RBI of his career.
"Wow, yeah, The guy throws hard. It was good. It was fun," said a smiling Quintana of his line drive to left field off of Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman that scored Willy Garcia. "I try to get contact first. It was really good, really excited."
"He's a great teammate," said White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson of Quintana, after Anderson's ninth-inning home run gave the White Sox a win. "Just overall, on and off the field, just a great person. He's someone you definitely want to be around."
Whether Quintana remains around Anderson for the next three weeks, let alone the rest of the season, stands as a great unknown. As general manager Rick Hahn has stated numerous times, Quintana would help any team in baseball including the White Sox, and it's Quintana's preference to continue helping the White Sox.
"Absolutely. I want to stay here," said Quintana, who finished the first half with a 4-8 record and 4.49 ERA over a team-high 18 starts and 104 1/3 innings. "But they know what's the best for us, so I just try to do my job and that's it."
"He's been really, really good with dealing with what's in his hands," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "He's an impressive kid to me because he just, nothing really stops him. He continues to work and focus and continues to stay ready."