April 18, 2010

Did Rizzo Keep the Receipt?

"Jason Marquis is no ace, but he'll give you 200 innings of league average pitching, sparing Nats fans from the 2010 version of the "Daniel Cabrera Experience"."
- Nats Triple Play
, December 27, 2009

That, Nats fans, is a swing-and-miss. (Also known as that thing Jason Marquis generated exactly none of today.) Frankly, Daniel Cabrera v. 2009 would be considered a rotation stabilizer at this point. So, if you've ever wondered why I'm typing in a darkened basement and not heading up a major league scouting operation, now you know.

Tony Armas, Tomo Ohka, Zach Day, Tim Redding, Ramon Ortiz, Pedro Astacio, Ryan Drese... this is just a sampling of the notable names who have started at least 10 games for the Washington Nationals. None of these guys managed to lay an egg the size of the one that Jason Marquis produced on Sunday. That said, a blowout loss doesn't count for any more than a squeaker, so there's no particular reason to dwell on today's result.

There are reasons to be concerned about Jason Marquis. He hasn't looked right since coming to DC. From day one of Spring Training to his 28th and final pitch this afternoon he's been completely ineffective. He's a sinkerballer who's not getting ground balls, a pitch-to-contact guy who can't find the strike zone. For now we have to take the team at its word that the problem isn't physical. Unfortunately, that means the issue is somewhere between his head and his arm. It's time for Steve McCatty to earn his money. Otherwise, don't be shocked when Marquis comes down with "dead arm" and needs a trip to the disabled list and a minor league rehab stint just about the time Garrett Mock is ready to come off the DL.

That's right, as of today Garrett Mock is officially a better option for the starting rotation than Jason Marquis. June can't come soon enough.

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