Last night right handed pitcher Jason Marquis got the start against the Texas Rangers in some spring training action. Marquis posted a line of two runs allowed in 6.0 innings with six hits, three walks and three strikeouts. That line isn’t bad, but it’s not inspiring either. He threw 89 pitches in the game and of those, 52 were strikes. There were 19 balls put in play against him and 12 of them were on the ground (63%).

Of course, you could get most of that information by checking out the box score or reading the game log. Watching the game on television provided some insight. Having the Pitch F/X system running in the stadium that the Rangers call home also gives us plenty of information to chew on.


Let’s first take a look at what he was throwing, along with the velocity:

Top Velo Low Velo AVG Velo
Fastball 89.9 85.9 87.9
Slider 83.5 79.9 81.9
Change Up 81.0 76.9 79.7

That fastball velocity leaves a lot to be desired. The good news is, it’s up from where he was throwing last season. It’s also still March, and most guys don’t reach peak velocity until the end of May, so there could be further improvements in his velocity.

Watching the game on television, and the Pitch F/X data backs it up as well, the fastball may not be fast, but it sure has movement to it. It’s an old fashioned sinker with plenty of movement on both planes of action. His slider is almost a cutter, hovering between the two pitches typical movements. .

Pitch Selection

Marquis went with a solid amount of all three of his pitches. Here’s the breakdown:

Pitch Usage
Fastball 63%
Slider 22%
Change Up 15%

As a veteran, you wouldn’t expect to see him overly reliant on a given pitch at this point in the spring, and he wasn’t. Generally speaking, most starters have a 65/35 split on fastball-everything else and that’s where Marquis was at.

Overall Thoughts

If you follow me on twitter, you know how I feel about Jason Marquis. But if not, this is new to you. The good news is that Marquis is throwing harder than he was last season, as Bryan Price said last week. The problem is that this particular pitcher hasn’t been good in a long time and he’s struggling to hit 90 MPH with his fastball. Counting on someone like that, who also has a history of not having a strong walk rate, to be successful at getting Major League hitters out, is not a good plan. Could it work? Sure, it could. But it’s incredibly unlikely. The Cincinnati Reds will be taking a big risk with the odds heavily against them if they decide to put Marquis in their rotation given his recent history and soft stuff.