Last week the Reds announced that theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve signed veteran pitcher Jason Marquis to a minor league deal. The 36-year-old right-hander had elbow reconstruction surgery in July 2013, but caught on with Philadelphia last year to put up a 3-1 record with a 4.63 ERA in eight starts with their Triple-A affiliate.
Marquis is another Walt Jocketty Cardinals reboot. He was a starting pitcher for St. Louis from 2004-2006. His best year came in 2004 when he posted a 15-7 record with a 3.71 ERA. Since then, Marquis has been somewhat of a journeyman. He has played for Chicago, Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Minnesota, and San Diego. It was with San Diego where he tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, which required Tommy John surgery. Marquis signed with Philadelphia on June 3, 2014, but never saw big league action. He was later released from the Phillies in August of 2014.
Marquis is a ground ball pitcher who relies heavily on his sinker. His repertoire also includes an effective slider, a sinking two-seam fastball, an overhand curve ball, and a changeup. The velocity on his fastball has been on a steady decline since he topped out at 91 mph in 2009. In his most recent complete season with the Padres Marquis fastball was topping out at just less than 87 mph.
Below, you can see a few stats related to MarquisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ pitching style:
Career Averages (2000-2013)
GB/FB (ground ball to fly ball ration) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1.02
GO/AO (ground outs to air outs ratio) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1.49
K-BB% (strikeout-to-walk ratio) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 4.5%
K% (strikeout percentage) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 13.5%
So, MarquisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ GB/FB ratio shows that batters hit about one ground ball for every fly ball against him and his GO/AO displays that he records about one and a half ground ball outs per fly ball outs. His relatively low K-BB%, which measures a pitchers strikeout ability and overall control, paired with his below average strikeout percentage of 13.5% shows that Marquis doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have overpowering stuff and that he can be susceptible to control issues.
Compare these numbers to the MLB averages below, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clear to see just how Marquis likes to go about his business.
MLB Averages (2000-2013)
GB/FB (ground ball to fly ball ration) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ .78
GO/AO (ground outs to air outs ratio) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1.08
K-BB% (strikeout-to-walk ratio) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 8.8%
K% (strikeout percentage) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 17.6%
Since his best year in 2004 Marquis has posted only one year, 2011 with the Nationals, with an ERA under 4. He did have somewhat of a bounce back year in 2013 with the Padres where he posted a 9-5 record with a 4.05 ERA before his season ending elbow injury. He started out that same year with a 9-2 record and a 3.63 ERA in his first 14 starts. Although Marquis has never been a dominant pitcher throughout his career, he has shown to be more than capable. Who knows how much Marquis has left in the tank, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be interesting to see just how effective he is in spring training. If Marquis is 100% healthy and shows signs of his 2013 success (and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a big IF), donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be surprised if we see him make some kind of contribution in 2015.