After a nightmarish start in Milwaukee, the Twins are designating Jason Marquis for assignment. The move likely ends his tenure with the organization. The announcement is not expected to be official until tomorrow morning, and there is no definitive answer as to which pitcher will replace Marquis in the starting rotation. Candidates include Anthony Swarzak, Brian Duensing, Liam Hendriks, and Cole DeVries.
In a sign of how truly awful the 2012 season has been, Marquis is just the latest in a long line of Twins to be DFA this year. He joins Matt Maloney, Sean Burroughs, Luke Hughes, and Clete Thomas in that club.
I wish Mr. Marquis well. By all accounts he is a positive clubhouse presence and a good human being, and he has had a very eventful Major League career so far. That said, I would like to take this opportunity to tell the Twins:
I told you so!
Marquis was never a good fit for the Twins, as I vehemently pointed out last December. As a groundball pitcher who did not even have a track record of good control, Marquis never offered anything that the team did not already have in Hendriks, Swarzak, or Nick Blackburn. You could argue that Terry Ryan was not interested in contending, but rather was focused on rebuilding, but even so the Marquis move made little sense. Why waste $3 million on a 33 year old veteran when a pitcher like Hendriks or Swarzak could lose games just as many games for the MLB minimum salary? And luring him to the American League, given his track record of giving up copious hits in the less-potent National League, was like giving an atomic bomb to a three year old.
Marquis would have been a decent pickup for a National League team that hoped to contend, but just needed someone to shore up the #5 slot in the rotation. None of those traits apply to the Twins, a rebuilding American League team who needs help everywhere.
As it turned out, Marquis only provided the Twins with seven starts and 34 innings pitched. He did not even last as long as some of the Twins’ other infamously bad veteran pitcher signings, like Livan Hernandez (23 starts, 139.2 innings pitched in 2008) or Ramon Ortiz (10 starts, 91 innings in 2007). In those seven starts, Marquis finished with an ERA of 8.47. He actually walked more batters (14) than he struck out (12), and he gave up an astounding 52 hits in his short time with the Twins.
As long as I’m busy saying “I told you so,” I would like to take this opportunity to point out that one quarter of the way through the season, Edwin Jackson is sporting a 3.31 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 8.0 K/9 for the Nationals. I argued fervently for the Twins to sign Jackson this offseason. Instead, the Nats got him for a one year deal worth $11 million, which really isn’t much more than the Twins shelled out to sign Marquis, Matt Capps, and Joel Zumaya.