Sunday, August 15, 2010

No decision on Marquis yet

Jim Riggleman says that, as of now, Jason Marquis will make his next scheduled start. The Nationals manager, though, couched that declaration pretty strongly, suggesting several times this morning that Marquis' rotation spot is not at all secure.

"If he's progressing and getting more action on the ball, getting the ball down more, getting more groundballs, then certainly we'll see that things are moving in the right direction," Riggleman said. "But we can't just let him be out there and get his brains beat out, either."

Marquis, who allowed five runs in four innings last night and actually lowered his ERA to 14.33, is on pace to start Saturday in Philadelphia. But it wouldn't be difficult for the Natioanls to make a change. Tomorrow's day off provides some leeway. The expected arrival very soon of both Jordan Zimmermann and Yunesky Maya also provides a couple of starting alternatives.

Zimmermann starts today for Class AAA Syracuse against Indianapolis. Maya, who tossed three hitless innings in his Gulf Coast League debut Friday, will probably make one more start in Viera before advancing to a higher-level affiliate.

If Marquis (who, of course, is on a two-year, $15 million contract) was removed from the rotation, he'd almost certainly remain on the major-league roster, possibly in the bullpen. Rosters expand in 16 days, but the Nats may not be able to buy that much time before making a decision.

"We'll keep starting him, or if we had to put him in the bullpen, that's an option," Riggleman said. "But that's certainly not what we want to do. We want to get this straightened out. We made a commitment to Jason that is a two-year commitment. There was a bump in the road when his elbow was barking earlier, but that seems to be behind him. We want to put him out there healthy and see if we can make progress. But we've got to ride it out here a little bit."

So, Marquis is definitely staying in the rotation?

"Well, I'm a woman. I can change my mind," Riggleman joked. "I'm not going to get locked into anything. I anticipate he'll be starting. But if the off-day and Zimmermann and Maya dictate that it's going to flow better for the rotation and set our bullpen up better if we don't ... but as I sit here right now, I'm anticipating he'll make his next start."

12 comments:

Todd Boss said...

What does it matter, really, at this point in the season if Marquis does go out and get shelled each night. He's obviously trying to work his way back to shape. We're in last place, playing for draft position at this point. If his losses get us the 6th pick versus the (current) 9th pick then so be it.

I don't mean to sound defeatist but, in a season where we're obviously looking to see who gives us the best chance to win in 2011, shouldn't we be actually throwing Marquis over and over to see where he stands? Yeah I want to see Maya and JZimmermann but I also want to know what I should do with my most expensive pitcher next year.

Doc said...

"We made a commitment to Jason....". It seems that with Riggleman it's more about what the Nats can do for Marquis, not vise-versa.

Grandstander said...

I think he said that more as a, "we're stuck with this asshat for another year so we've got to at least try and get him to be able to do something for us" rather than a "we promised we would start him" kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

"Well, I'm a woman. I can change my mind," Riggleman joked.

Alert all the idiots who just got done having their panties in a twist over what Dibble said that it's time for them to put on a new pair.

Dryw said...

Yeah, I was thinking that Rigg's comment was a lot closer to actually being sexist....and as a card-carrying woman, I will openly admit to being completely NOT offended by either comment.

phil dunn said...

My advice, don't buy a ticket for a game Marquis is starting unless you want to see a game that is guaranteed to be over by the second inning.

Suz said...

As a female full STH, I am in full support of Riggs getting in touch with his feminine side if doing so will deliver us from watching Marquis start another game until after No. 21 has well and truly figured out what the heck is wrong. Sausage making and Marquis's rehabbing are two processes best not done in public.

JaneB said...

Todd, I'm with you.

natsfan1a said...

Oh, geez. Now Riggs will have to issue an apology, too. Oh, the humanity.

(And, seriously. I'm not offended by that one, either. ;-))

Sec3MySofa said...

If the Cubs, who aren't going anywhere interesting this year, either, can send Zambrano to the pen, and then to Iowa, I think we shouldn't need to watch Marquis's career twist in the breeze like this, here.

natsfan1a said...

One more thought on the offensive front (again, from a female point of view), while I was not offended by the comments of Dibble or Riggleman, I'm not crazy about the use of a term for a feminine hygiene apparatus as a pejorative statement.* After all, use of said apparatus is based on the idea that a naturally self-cleansing female body part is dirty and in need of rinsing out.

My humble suggestion, if you're really all that worried about gender stereotyping, maybe y'all should use a more gender-neutral term, such as - oh, I don't know - enema bag, when you feel the need to hurl insults at someone with whom you disagree. Just a friendly suggestion. ;-)

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*Usage example: An anti-Dibble blog link that currently appears on the right side of this page.

Anonymous said...

"*Usage example: An anti-Dibble blog link that currently appears on the right side of this page."

Yeah, you do have to wonder why Zuckerman gives prime sidebar space to someone like Needham who has a history of making offensive posts in his blog. (Witness the one that got him kicked off NBCWashington.com last year.) I'm pretty sure that neither the WaPo or MASN would allow the d-bag word to even appear in a comment to their blogs, but here Zuckerman is with it right there on the front page thanks to his link to Needham.

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