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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.

    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.

    This article was originally published in blog: Marquis Out of Control started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Terry Ryan offered this description: "He's a groundball machine and he throws the ball over the plate."
      I think that the last part of Ryan's quote was misunderstood by the reporter... The actual quote was:

      "He's a groundball machine and he throws the ball all over the place."
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Exhibit A why Terry Ryan should be fired. The game has passed him by. Terry: starting pitcher wins, rbi, and being nice are no reason to sign players. I wish the Twins had one person in the FO in touch with the 21st century.
    1. TwinsArmChairGM_Jon's Avatar
      TwinsArmChairGM_Jon -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      Exhibit A why Terry Ryan should be fired. The game has passed him by. Terry: starting pitcher wins, rbi, and being nice are no reason to sign players. I wish the Twins had one person in the FO in touch with the 21st century.
      The Twins are 0-0 in the era of Terry Ryan II. That's probably enough time to call for his head.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Quote Originally Posted by TwinsArmChairGM_Jon View Post
      The Twins are 0-0 in the era of Terry Ryan II. That's probably enough time to call for his head.
      They dont need to to play any games for a smart fan to see the Marquis, Carroll, and Capps signings were disasters!!
    1. dave_dw's Avatar
      dave_dw -
      I sure am glad the season hasn't started yet. We'll see how he does during the real season.
    1. Andrew Bryz-Gornia's Avatar
      Andrew Bryz-Gornia -
      Jesse Lund of Twinkie Town pointed this out to me. Marquis has been successful in getting a first pitch strike, which could be the source of the "he throws it over the plate" comment. Also, Marquis throws many pitches out of the zone and typically has been able to get hitters to chase, similar to Carl Pavano. Also similar to Pavano, despite the ability to get hitters to swing at his junk pitches, hitters still manage to make enough contact to keep his strikeout rate rather low.

      Therefore, my hypothesis is that Marquis just isn't getting hitters to chase at pitches out of the zone as he typically has in the past. It would be interesting if spring training data was available to see if this was correct.

      http://www.twinkietown.com/2012/2/23...-jason-marquis
    1. darin617's Avatar
      darin617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      They dont need to to play any games for a smart fan to see the Marquis, Carroll, and Capps signings were disasters!!
      My thoughts exactly Terry Ryan has to pull off some sort of trade to try and save face.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      They dont need to to play any games for a smart fan to see the Marquis, Carroll, and Capps signings were disasters!!
      Disasters is a vast overstatement. None of these guys have long-term deals, so they're hardly going to cripple the franchise. Did they overpay for Capps? Yes, IMHO, but if we get the guy from 2010 instead of 2011, it's not a terrible deal. Marquis was signed to be the 5th starter. Let's see how he does outside of spring training before we bury this one, but again...he didn't cost a ton and won't be a drag on the payroll after this season if he busts. Carroll was signed to be a solid middle INF who could get on base. He looks fine defensively, and again...I'm not going to take the small sample size of spring training as gospel. Let's see how he does in Target Field, eh? He only has a 2 year deal, so even if he turns out to be a better fit as the utility guy, it won't be a terrible fit.

      A smart fan knows spring training means very little. A smart fan knows that short-term deals are rarely a disaster because the team can move on from them pretty easily. A smart fan knows that you don't judge a GM on one offseason.
    1. tharasix's Avatar
      tharasix -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      They dont need to to play any games for a smart fan to see the Marquis, Carroll, and Capps signings were disasters!!
      Were disasters? They haven't played a single game that counts on these contracts. I think you need to work on your verb tense.
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      When he does throw strikes, he gets shelled. Therefore, he's pitching scared and nibbling. This is a major problem, and one that I don't see going away this season. I hope I'm wrong, but predict that Marquis will be out of the starting 5 by the end of May.
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      Marquis' control is why we need a strong defensive catcher like Butera... see the logical steps?
    1. Cris E's Avatar
      Cris E -
      They dont need to to play any games for a smart fan to see the Marquis, Carroll, and Capps signings were disasters!!

      They'd be a problem if these guys were blocking prospects, but none of the kid pitchers are blowing away the field and the closest thing we have to a MI candidate needs to spend some time at AAA. The deals are short, and only Capps sees himself as a premiere full-time guy, so when the time comes to have a talk with any of them it should go pretty well. These are not bad deals.

      If you want a situation where Ryan can really mess up, wait to see how he handles the logjam in the outfield, and particularly CF, in the next year or two. If he over-values Revere's hustle or feels compelled to stay with Span after the point when Benson or some other youngster has passed him by then you can call for his head. But signing journeymen to paper over holes for one or two years is what you need from a GM in this situation.
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      Low velocity nibblers are the "Twins way". I'd take a pitcher with an out pitch over a high contact ground ball guy every day. Especially one with an ERA over 9.50. Bottom line is with or without Marquis this pitching staff is easily on of the worst 2 or 3 in the Majors. They might a s well roll with Marquis at this point. They've got nothing in the minors or in camp better.
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