Skip to content

Marquis’ cloudy future

Aug 15, 2010, 3:38 AM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Another poor outing leaves Jason Marquis' status unclear moving forward.

The Nationals can try to figure out why Jason Marquis is wholly unable to get big-league hitters out, but that's not the real issue right now. No, the bigger issue is what to do with the least-effective pitcher in the majors moving forward.

Can the Nats really send Marquis back to the mound Friday night in Philadelphia? In that bandbox? Against that lineup? With an 0-5 record and 14.33 ERA?

It wouldn't be fair to subject Marquis to that inevitable shellacking, and it wouldn't be fair to force the rest of the Nationals to stand there and watch it all unfold before their eyes. This may not be the greatest roster ever assembled, but it deserves to take the field on a nightly basis believing it has a chance to win.

And right now, if Marquis is on the mound, the Nats have no chance of winning.

Perhaps that's why Jim Riggleman was noncommittal tonight when asked whether a change could be in order.

"Well, obviously I wouldn't say that here. I'll talk to Steve McCatty and Mike Rizzo before we make a decision like that," Riggleman said. "I'm anticipating him going back out there, but it's a results-orientedRead more »

  1. phil dunn - Aug 15, 2010 at 3:51 AM

    I was sitting right behind home plate tonight and I can truthfully say that Marquis had absolutely no movement on any of his pitches. It was like he was pitching batting practice. If Riggleman sends him to the mound again, he's crazy.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 4:04 AM

    Marquis is a joke! Rizzo, eat the salary and — at least for now — put Stammen back in the rotation or bring up Jordan Zimmerman. Maya, Zimmerman, Strasburg, Olsen and Livan look pretty good for next year. But, the Nats need to spend $$$$ — sign Dunn for 3 more years, of course sign Harper and get a free-agent rightfielder and free-agent second baseman (or, maybe that's Espinoa. If any money is left over, trade or sign an innings-eating veteran pitcher for 2011.

  3. JM - Aug 15, 2010 at 4:07 AM

    Ouch.Marquis is teh terribad.

  4. swang - Aug 15, 2010 at 5:58 AM

    Anon – There is no "at least for now" solution other than faking an injury. Rosters hasn't expanded yet, you don't want to DFA him. (I don't think he has to report.) What are you going to do?I get that you like these other pitchers, in fact I do too. But you still need to give a workable option…

  5. Evan S - Aug 15, 2010 at 6:57 AM

    A risky play would be to option him to Syracuse or lower. He would almost undoubtedly (although given his play, possibly not) reject the assignment and become a free agent. Problem is, we would have to eat his salary until he is signed by a new club, which given season might not happen, BUT his track record would warrant at least a minor league deal.

  6. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    If Marquis is a real pro, he'll accept assignment and go to Syracuse to work out the kinks.

  7. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Marquis has to be the happiest guy in the world right now. Collect $15,000,000 for nothing, buy a yacht, sit back and enjoy! I wish I could win the lottery and do that! You just gotta love baseball and a pros non-production salary. Really, they should be paid FOLLOWING the season based on production numbers. What a racket.

  8. Grandstander - Aug 15, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    I have to believe he's going to the Disgraceful List. That way we can hide him until the rosters expand and maybe he can make some rehab starts in A ball to see where we're at. At this point though, I don't see how he takes a major league mound again until he can show movement on his pitches.

  9. Doc - Aug 15, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Even when Marquis located the ball down last night, they still hit it! If it were my $15 million, I'd be suing somebody. I smell a rat(s) here. Let's see Rizzo talk his 'due diligence' way out of this one.

  10. JaneB - Aug 15, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Anonymous at 7:25: I think if you give it another thought, you'd see that no one who is a high performer wants to disgrace his name and record. If he could get that ball down, he would. These guys get paid well but they love the game. They signed a contract, and baseball gets the best end of the deal as often as a player does: Just look at how inexpensive ZImmerman was his first seasons here ( and I know I'm talking "inexpensive" in relative terms). Marquis is not trying to get over anything or anyone. You wouldn't either. much as you may think getting paid for "non-production" might suit you.

  11. Todd Boss - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Marquis will get one more start, then the Nats will invent another "soft tissue" injury to DL him for the rest of the season. I see an "elbow strain" or "loose bodies in the elbow" injury announcement. And that's fine. Marquis needs to Write off the 2010 season, start fresh in spring 2011 and get it back. He's still in the plans for 2011 and mentally needs to regroup.

  12. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    I think that the club is destined to have only two reliable starters at any one time this year. Livan and a pitcher to be named later.

  13. Mississippi Snopes - Aug 15, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Marquis has more sense than to reject a minor league assignment. If he's physically sound, then he needs to work on his mechanics and the minors are the only place the Nats are going to let him do that. We'll see Marquis in Syracuse or Harrisburg by Tuesday. For Marquis to refuse that would send a message to the management of thirty MLB clubs of stunning selfishness and stupidity.

  14. BQ - Aug 15, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    I would give Marquis another shot, against Phillies next but at the same time, keep Stammen rested and ready in the bullpen. If Marquis shows signs of a blown up game again, just pull him out and use Stammen as long reliever/backup starter for that game.

  15. Nattydread - Aug 15, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    "In other words, every guy who steps to the plate against him is the greatest hitter of all time."Ouch. Nice one.

  16. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    Todd Boss, Good post; you are right on the money. Everyone who is bashing keep in mind that Marquis has a track record in the majors; look it up. He is coming of an injury and is obviously not on track. Having said that you can't just throw him out there if he doesn't give the team a chance to win. I think he will accept a trip to the minors if he is really healthy; as JaneB says he is a pro and he wants to perform. Incidentally; I think that Olsen's position is more tenuous than Marquis because they don't have a financial commitment to him for next year; in fact I think he's as good as gone.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter