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Marquis Out of Control

When the Twins signed Jason Marquis to a one-year, $3 million contract back in December, Terry Ryan offered this description: "He's a groundball machine and he throws the ball over the plate."

That characterization was only partially accurate.

[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]While the sinker-balling right-hander has induced grounders at an extreme rate, painting him as a consistent strike-thrower never passed the sniff test. As Aaron Gleeman astutely noted when the Twins signed him, Marquis' career walk rate is identical to that of Francisco Liriano, who is no one's idea of a control artist.

Sure enough, the 33-year-old's control problems have been on full display this spring.
After an erratic outing today in which he walked two and hit a batter in four-plus innings, Marquis leads the Twins with nine walks (against only five strikeouts) and three wild pitches in 12 2/3 frames, contributing to an ugly 8.53 ERA.

When he stumbled in his Twins debut, the hope was that Marquis would rebound rapidly and start to settle in as March progressed. Unfortunately, we haven't seen that. He's routinely falling behind hitters, resulting in multiple walks in every start and tons of hits allowed.

Through four turns, Marquis owns a 2.21 WHIP and still hasn't been able to record an out in the fifth inning. He's well behind where he needs to be at this point and the coaching staff has to be growing concerned. With three weeks left to go until Opening Day, he's going to need to work closely with Rick Anderson to get the command issues sorted out.

Attached Image: marquis2.jpg


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