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  • Marquis Out. Who Should Replace Him?

    No surprise here, but the Twins have reportedly designated Jason Marquis for assignment after the veteran was tagged by the Brewers for eight runs while recording only five outs on Sunday.

    Marquis has never been a particularly good pitcher and I certainly wasn't high on his signing at the time, but I wouldn't have guessed he'd be the worst starter in baseball. From the moment he showed up to spring training, Marquis had nothing; he struggled to get the ball over the plate and when he did hitters went to town. As Parker pointed out on Twitter, the veteran ranked last in the majors in FIP, HR/9, swinging strike rate and first-pitch strike rate.

    Marquis' dismissal was more than warranted, but it opens yet another hole to plug in the rotation. There a number of replacement options, yet none are overly appealing. Anthony Swarzak has been working long relief and could be stretched out quickly, but he's best suited for where he's at. The same goes for Brian Duensing, who really seems to have found his calling as a lefty specialist.

    The Twins may consider recalling Liam Hendriks, who was demoted to Triple-A after posting a 9.00 ERA in four starts for Minnesota but has allowed only four runs on 10 hits in three turns since returning to Rochester. It's not uncommon for a young starter to get knocked around then head down to the minors to make some tweaks, returning later in the season with greater confidence (Kevin Slowey in 2007 is a good example).

    Another option would be Cole DeVries, a 27-year-old right-hander who's been moderately successful in Triple-A. Although he's a nice story as a local guy from Eden Prairie, I don't think DeVries is a likely candidate to succeed in the majors as he's a soft-tosser with a 1.41 career WHIP in Triple-A. But perhaps the Twins feel differently.

    Personally, I'd be in favor of adding Anthony Slama Ė who has struck out 20 batters over 11 2/3 scoreless innings in his past 10 appearances at Triple-A, where his ERA sits at 0.45 Ė to the 40-man roster and getting him up in the bullpen, sliding either Swarzak or Duensing into the starting corps. It's not ideal, but "ideal" has pretty much flown out the window at this point. At least Swarzak and Duensing are reasonably good bets to hold their own as a No. 5 starter and the Twins could finally get an extended look at what they have in Slama.

    What move(s) would you make in the aftermath of the Marquis news?
    This article was originally published in blog: Marquis Out. Who Should Replace Him? started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 38 Comments
    1. twinslover's Avatar
      twinslover -
      Bring up Slama, give him a real shot, and at the same time put Swarzak in the rotation and give him a realistic shot at the starting rotation. We've seen Henriks and Duensing get a chance to make an impression several times. But the more important question is, does it really matter?
    1. Twinsoholic's Avatar
      Twinsoholic -
      Quote Originally Posted by bkucko View Post
      Manship is transitioning back into a Starter and is still on the 40 man roster. Starting tonight against Gwinnett and has gone 4 Innings so far with 2 hits, 0 walks and 3 strikeouts. He's got some experience at the MLB level, it'd be worth a shot to see what he has left.
      I agree about Manship. He won tonight, and I think he won his last start in impressive fashion. Believe it or not, but Manship is actually pitching very well in Rochester as a starter. He's striking guys out and going lots of innings. So, don't be surprised if it is Manship rather than DeVries who gets the call up. It could be Hendricks, but I think the Twins want to see him pitch a number of games in Rochester to see how he's performing.
    1. Twinsoholic's Avatar
      Twinsoholic -
      Manship, as someone above notes, is doing well as a starter. He won tonight with a great line, and I think he was similarly impressive in his last start. I would not be surprised if the Twins called him up rather than DeVries (or even Hendriks). I'm guessing it will be Manship if he is still on the 40-man roster.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      With Marquis out the Twins actually need 2 starters for the rotation, 1 to pitch Thursday and 1 to take Blackburn's spot on Saturday.

      Since Manship pitched tonight he is unavailable for Thursday, but he could start Saturday.
    1. eveldrive's Avatar
      eveldrive -
      I think they should make Duensing a starter and put Butera in a relief role. The guy can catch, hit for .300, and pitch to boot. He's turning into quite the all-around player.
    1. twinslover's Avatar
      twinslover -
      Quote Originally Posted by eveldrive View Post
      I think they should make Duensing a starter and put Butera in a relief role. The guy can catch, hit for .300, and pitch to boot. He's turning into quite the all-around player.
      Stop drinking immediately.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      I'd go make-or-break with Anthony Slama. Let's find out if he can get out major leaguers. Move Swarzak to the rotation. Same deal for Swarzak, make or break. If Either guy falters, feel free to make more moves. It's time for experiments, all season long.
    1. gil4's Avatar
      gil4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      They got 12 Ps now. When Blackburn was DL'd Revere came up
      I thought he meant 12 new pitchers (dumping all 12 that we have) but I see now that your interpretation was probably corect.
    1. Mauerzy4Prez's Avatar
      Mauerzy4Prez -
      Quote Originally Posted by Visnovsky View Post
      It's a good thing the Twins ran Kevin Slowey out of town. He's not doing great but he would have been a better option than Marquis.
      Slowey has a 5.14 ERA and is 3/3 in for the Indian's AAA club... Who knows where he would even be in the Twins organization right now if he were still here. We ran him out of town because he was refusing to be a "team guy" and pitch in the pen. At least Marquis basically told everyone including the media that he sucks after his latest start. I'm not a Marquis apologist, but don't think that Kevin Slowey would be a more viable option, it was time for him to go somewhere else and pout.
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      No problem with moving Butera to a reliever. He could be like Bugs Bunny in the old cartoon: pitch and catch at the same time.

      Seriously though, if we did move him to catcher, he would need TJ surgery within a month.
    1. Blake's Avatar
      Blake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Bryz-Gornia View Post
      I realize my name is not Seth, but Slama has basically two pitches: a fastball and a slurve. Typically you want a starter to have about 4 pitches.
      Thank you very much for the information. I didn't know that Slama is considered a two pitch pitcher.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I think we minus well see what we have with Devries. Manship has only recently been starting, right? I say Cole should get 3 starts, and if he fails, Manship should have built up a little more stamina by then. And if Manship is still knocking on the door, then Devries should swap spots with him on the roster.
    1. Montecore's Avatar
      Montecore -
      Slama. Starter maybe Frankie.
    1. prairiejack's Avatar
      prairiejack -
      Way past time to give Slama another chance. Seems they don't like him for some reason. How about bringing both Slama and Manship back up, send Mastroianni back down, and move Duensing into the rotation. As it's been said above, this year is going to be all about experiments, especially with pitching. Might as well go back to 13 for awhile; it's hard to see why the Twins need Revere, Komatsu and Mostrianni on the bench.
    1. Yoshii's Avatar
      Yoshii -
      Slama seems like the logical choice, doesn't really matter who you start between:


      anyone of these guys could be a 5th starter, I don't think it will make much of a difference in the long run win wise.

      I guess I like the idea of leaving Duensing in the pen.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      I'm fine with giving DeVries a shot as the 5th starter. My expectations are minimal, but you'd think he can't do worse than Marquis.

      Marquis' total collapse is a bit surprising, frankly. I never expected great things out of him, but thought as a 5th starter he'd be a guy who could eat up a lot of innings if he was healthy. Which is why I was vaguely ok with a 1 year $3M deal on him. It wasn't a great move, but it didn't look awful, which it has turned out to be. He looks totally done.

      The error is magnified, of course, due to the rest of the staff that was projected for the rotation struggling or getting hurt as well. It makes the Marquis signing look significantly worse than it really was, I think. (It's still a minimal commitment to a guy who supposedly was signed to fill a lesser role)

      At the start of the season I called this twins club the hardest I'd ever seen to project, because there were so many questions and so few certainties in both the rotation, bullpen, and lineup. So far the rotation has crapped out on all of those questions (while the bullpen has pretty much answered them).
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      I would give DeVries a chance, and if he does not work out, then bring back Hendriks.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
      I would give DeVries a chance, and if he does not work out, then bring back Hendriks.
      <singing><chanting>All we are saaaaying, give DeVries a chance.</chanting></singing>
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