On Wednesday afternoon the Reds signed veteran right handed pitcher Jason Marquis to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Marquis last pitched in the big leagues in July of 2013 before going under the knife for Tommy John surgery after suffering an elbow injury.
He returned to baseball in 2014 and signed a minor league deal with the Phillies where he made one rookie league start and eight starts for their Triple-A club in Lehigh Valley. With the IronPigs he posted a 4.63 ERA in 46.1 innings with 13 walks and 36 strikeouts.
Marquis has never missed many bats, striking out just 5.3 batters per nine innings pitched in his big league career and only once has his strikeout-to-walk ratio been above 2.0, so control hasn’t exactly been a big part of his game either.
What has been a part of his game has been strong groundball rates throughout his career, especially since 2009 began. In limited minor league action in 2014 that was more of the same as he posted a 52% groundball rate in Triple-A.
I went back through MiLB.tv to watch his fourth start of the year, and his third at the Triple-A level in 2014 against Indianapolis. I chose that game as Indianapolis has a radar gun that is fairly accurate that is displayed on their broadcasts.
Fastball | The pitch showed good sinking action, but it worked in the 84-86 MPH range and touched a tick higher every so often.
Slider | The slider was his go-to pitch when he was ahead in the count. It had some biting action to it and came in around 80 MPH.
Change Up | He didn’t use it often, but it was an ok offering that came in around 80 MPH as well.
If Marquis is in the system to pitch in Louisville this signing is fine. He can compete at the Triple-A level and get guys out. Unless his stuff has taken a big step forward in the offseason though I can’t see a spot where he fits onto the big league club.