CHICAGO -- When Jose Quintana has needed to reach back for something extra on his fastball, that something extra has been there during the 2013 season.
Quintana still wouldn't be considered one of the game's true hard-throwers. But according to FanGraphs, Quintana's average fastball velocity has jumped from 90.4 mph in '12 to 91.3 through nine starts going into Monday's effort against the Cubs. He originally noticed the change in Spring Training, but simply in the form of feeling stronger.
"I didn't realize it right away," said Quintana, through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz. "But when I go and check the radar, which I don't like to do, I see the increasing velocity -- which is pretty good -- and I'm just trying to use that to my advantage."
A strenuous offseason conditioning program has helped a noticeably bigger Quintana find that extra strength.
"I concentrated in the offseason [on] working on my legs and my back and the upper body," Quintana said. "I feel like continuing that work here with [White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas] helped me be where I'm at right now."
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.