Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Marquis introduced at Nats Park

The Nats are off to a quick start this offseason, checking off their needs: Some relief pitching help, a catcher, a veteran starter. It all has something of a cumulative effect, as every move inches the Nationals that much closer to respectability, and every move makes the Nationals that much more palatable (or even desirable) for free agents. (I'll develop this theme with a little more depth in the newsprint story I'll soon be writing.)

But to the point, the Nats might soon attract another free agent. Reliever Matt Capps, non-tendered by Pittsburgh earlier this month, will decide sometime between Wednesday night or Thursday morning on his next team. His two finalists: The Nats and the Chicago Cubs.

Even without Capps, Washington's offseason, per Stan Kasten, is "off to a good start."

What's next? They'll look at Capps, and then they'll address the need for a middle infielder. Especially with the addition of Marquis, Washington now has a rotation full of pitch-to-contact guys ... and such pitchers in particular need good defense.

Today Marquis had his news conference introduction at Nationals Park, with Marquis and GM Mike Rizzo sharing the podium.

A few things to note...

* Marquis will wear No. 21

* Rizzo, who has a talent for glossy salesmanship at these events, called Marquis "as consistent a performer as there is in Major League Baseball." He later added: "This is a guy who was won double digits for the last [six] years. You can more or less pencil him in as a 13- or 15-game winner and a low-4 ERA."

* Marquis, on how he's evolved as a starter: "Well sometimes in this game there are failures. I'm always striving to get better, always looking for ways to improve. That's what I've learned throughout this game. You have to make the adjustments or you won't be around. I went from a guy who was a four-seam guy back in Atlanta, I went over to St. Louis and learned how to throw a sinker and it benefited my career. It's a pitch I always felt comfortable throwing ... but the pitching coach there stressed the importance of it in terms of going deeper into games, lower pitch counts. It's a contact pitch, and instead of trying to get a guy to swing and miss all the time, more it's a miss-hit pitch. It allows me, like I said, to get deeper into games and take stress off the bullpen."

* Rizzo, on the potential trickle-down benefit of adding one veteran: "Well I think what he does -- he brings an experience level on the mound, in the clubhouse, on the road, in every aspect of the game. But he also pushes the rest of our starting pitchers down a rung on our pitching rotation. John Lannan will be more effective. Also the rest of our rotation, as they pitch lower in the rotation, has a chance to be more effective. It's a Domino effect."

* Marquis, on when he started taking the Nats seriously as a viable franchise... and subsequently, as a viable option in free agency: "Well, it starts with the Strasburg move obviously."

By Chico Harlan  |  December 22, 2009; 4:11 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Strasburg lands endorsement deal with Topps
Next: Nats nearing deal with veteran reliever Guardado

Comments

If the Strasburg signing was what made him take the Nationals seriously, another reason why it was a good signing. I like what the Nationals are doing. It gives me some hope!

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | December 22, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Don't close the checkbook yet, Uncle Teddy. Let Rizzo spend a little more money on a few more needs.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 22, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

glad pitching seems to finally be of some corcern

Posted by: bford1kb | December 22, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Matt Capps, come here, come here!

Posted by: NatsNut | December 22, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

WTF? you mean the nats DIDN'T retire No. 21 after the legendary, still talked about 2007 season of da meat loaf? i'm just shocked i tell you, shocked!

Posted by: surly_w | December 22, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Especially when compared to the complete disfunctionality of the Redskins, it's just so reassuring to see a team acting on its needs. Refreshing.

Posted by: Section406 | December 22, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I liked the part where someone touched on Marquis' ability to handle a bat, whereupon the pitcher joked that he had plate appearance incentives in his contract. I like a guy with a sense of humor.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Giving away #21? My Dmitri Young bobblehead is not pleased...

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | December 22, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

So, Hudson the defensive whizz (whose UZR/150 in the last five years are 9.1, -0.7, 0.5, -7.6, -3.7) is being sought? He is on a serious decline and Guzman, Hudson and Dunn couldn't stop a damn beachball hit by a girl scout.

This was a poor idea last year when we had Johnson on 1st. Johnson has been replaced by Dunn and everyone aged a year.

There is no more depressing thing that could have said at the signing of our brand new ground ball pitcher.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 22, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow...we're actaully getting players we go after...I don't really know how to feel. Shockd, in awe, dazed, giddy...dare I say...Hopeful?

Well done Mr. Rizzo. Keep it up!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | December 22, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

silly me. it was da meat loaf, not the No. 21, who for all intents and purposes was retired after 2007.

Posted by: surly_w | December 22, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The Nats can only get a decent shortstop via trade,there were simply no good free agents this year and all of the average ones have already been signed.

But I would like to see the Nats sign Capps and one more veteran starting pitcher that can eat innings and not embarrass himself, maybe Smoltz for a one year $5mil contract, or maybe Duscesher for another 2 year, $15mil contract.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 22, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't Marquis sound like most of the callers to Mike Francesca's show on WFAN? "Yo, Mikey, Jason from da Island on da line."

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 22, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I've never listened to that show but, yes, I did detect a regional flavor in his speech. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Bloke, did I miss something? Who said they were still after Hudson? Just the Ladson tweet?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Still, it's not so bad. Maybe they could move Hudson to left field, get him on the All-Star team there, and turn him into a couple of draft picks?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

But ... he's still smiling. Our Yule Log Emeritus.
***********
Giving away #21? My Dmitri Young bobblehead is not pleased...
Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | December 22, 2009 5:04 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

hey, let's not try another ill-fated "move your 2B to OF" maneuver. it failed miserably enough once...

Posted by: sec231 | December 22, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

good common sense approach by the Rizard. Get another reliever and starter, maybe a good defensive outfielder who can do spot relief for Dukes/Willingham.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 22, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

http://tinyurl.com/y8tfy5f
Live long and prosper, Meathook.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

OK, chant after me:
SHORT-stop, GLOVE man!
SHORT-stop, GLOVE man!
SHORT-stop, GLOVE man!

Wadda we want?
SHORT-stop!
When do we want him?
By the end of February!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

in the alternative:

Don't bring an outfielder to a ground ball fight!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

(That one's for my Shaw neighbors)

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind that kid we got in there end of last year at short stop.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 22, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

They have Bernadina and Maxwell, so no real need for defensive backup for the OF, no?

Posted by: dfh21 | December 22, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Could we please stop with signing Smoltz post pulleeezzee! is there not a young pitcher we can get? maybe its just me but i think his best years are behind him and we need to get a pitcher that has an upside i guess being here in Atl. and watching the Braves tell him to beat feet and basically get the hell on has me sort of jaded toward us signing him i could be wrong but............ i don't think he helps us.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 22, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

From cevans and flynnie:

Are we going to be looking at that same picture of Dmitri all winter? Just wondering.

Posted by: cevans (unmoving) | October 11, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse


cevans-the picture of Dmitri is warm and cheering - like he yule log. Or like MASN's coverage of rain delays for 2005-2006 - just a picture of the rain falling on the tarped diamond.

Posted by: flynnie | October 11, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: BobLHead | December 22, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I got your yule log right here.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/images/2007/02/19/c4U2UnvL.jpg

p.s. I'm not in Shaw, but I got that one, sec3. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Nice pick, BobL. Except I got excited for a moment and thought it was a new post from Flynnie.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

But I suppose I owe you a coke, now.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I say lets sign Chapman!!

Posted by: CluelessNatsFan | December 22, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Da Yule Log:

http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2009/06/medium_AP071002030121.jpg

Posted by: BobLHead | December 22, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Smiling meself, now. Thanks, BobL. I had forgotten the provenance of that meme, somehow.
(yes, I am.)
********
From cevans and flynnie:

Are we going to be looking at that same picture of Dmitri all winter? Just wondering.
Posted by: cevans (unmoving) | October 11, 2007 4:30 PM |
------
cevans-the picture of Dmitri is warm and cheering - like he yule log. Or like MASN's coverage of rain delays for 2005-2006 - just a picture of the rain falling on the tarped diamond.
Posted by: flynnie | October 11, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse
----------
Posted by: BobLHead | December 22, 2009 6:12 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg and Chapman could be quite a pair. Marquis is a good placeholder in the meantime. Tomorrow we're going to sign Capps. Solid progress so far. But don't stop now.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 22, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Hudson is a terrible idea (as long as Guzman is on the team). We're better off with Desmond and Guzy than Guzy and OH. I still believe Guzy will put up a positive UZR rating at 2B - even FLop did. And the "no range to his right" holds no water at 2B since he'll be able to dive for those balls now.

But there's no reason to bring in a new SS if he's not better than Desmond defensively and unfortunately there aren't many of those guys out there.

Posted by: sec307 | December 22, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

For the record, moving Soriano to LF was a massive success for everyone involved. Sori was a 40-40 guy who lead the league in outfield assists. Zim had 110 rbi's as a rookie. We gave up nothing of value for him and he turned into Jordan Zimmermann and Jack McGeary (if I'm not mistaken). And Sori got a truckload of money from the Cubs. Alls well that ends well.

Posted by: sec307 | December 22, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

For the record, moving Soriano to LF was a massive success for everyone involved. Sori was a 40-40 guy who lead the league in outfield assists. Zim had 110 rbi's as a rookie. We gave up nothing of value for him and he turned into Jordan Zimmermann and Jack McGeary (if I'm not mistaken). And Sori got a truckload of money from the Cubs. Alls well that ends well.

Posted by: sec307 | December 22, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I get a good feeling we will sign Capps.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 22, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

1a1, at this pace you're going to be buying a round for every Nationals fan at Nats Park on Opening Day.

-------------

But I suppose I owe you a coke, now.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 6:14 PM

Posted by: greggwiggins | December 22, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Reposting from earlier, since somehow I missed the "new post" sign.

One thing that this flurry of activity has made me wonder is "what the heck were they, and we, thinking last year?" After a 100 loss season, our big hope for an improved starting pitching staff going into spring training was ... Daniel Cabrera. We had Joel Hanrahan as the annointed closer. And Austin Kearns was holding down right field, fresh off his .217/.311/.316 season in 2008. And yet, some of us thought the team was going to be vastly improved. Hope springs eternal among the fans of losing teams I guess.

These moves show a seriousness of purpose that I'm very happy about. It's almost as if the Lerners said to Rizzo -- "We simply cannot be the worst team in baseball again. Do what you need to do to get us at least to the middle of the pack." It's not going to happen overnight, and that first great Nats team is still many years away and depends on alot of pieces falling into place that could just as easily fall apart (Flores, Strasburg, Storen, Espinosa), but at least they aren't sitting on their hands thinking that they can live with another bomb of a season as long as 20,000 fans a night fill their coffers.

Posted by: Section222 | December 22, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I glove man just became more important though. Come on Rizzo. We need a reliever. We need a shortstop. Another pitcher would be nice, as would a second baseman.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 22, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo is da man. Nobody is saying they're pennant contenders, but all this is a nice step finally in the proper direction. Go Nats.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 22, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Gregg. I'd better start saving my pennies now!

---

1a1, at this pace you're going to be buying a round for every Nationals fan at Nats Park on Opening Day.

-------------

But I suppose I owe you a coke, now.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 6:14 PM

Posted by: greggwiggins | December 22, 2009 6:45 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Awww, thanks for digging up that pic, BobL. Season's greetings to our Yule Log, wherever he is.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 22, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Nats to sign Eddie Guardado

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Nats-near-deal-with-Guardado-122209-LIVE

Posted by: SpashCity | December 22, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Just finished my nightly rumour-gathering, and saw a comment on MLBTR that caught my eye. The Nationals might be near a deal on Eddie Guardado. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Nats-near-deal-with-Guardado-122209-LIVE

Posted by: BinM | December 22, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Dang, got scooped by SplashCity. If he signs, I'd hope this deal is a minor-league deal, similar to Villone's last year. I personally don't think he's worth dropping a player from the 40-man roster for at this point.

Posted by: BinM | December 22, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The best two quotes from the Guardado article:

1: "Guardado closed for the Twins and Mariners from roughly 2001 until 2006. He’s now considered one of the game’s best bullpen mentors; J.J. Putz and Frank Francisco are among the relievers who have credited him with helping them adjust to closing."

Before injury (and trade), J.J. Putz was a solid closer and Francisco remains one, although prone to Chief-like cardiac episodes. Hopefully, Guardado can nurture and bring out the best in Bruney, Capps, and/or Storen.

2: "The Nationals have already fortified their pitching staff this off-season, by signing starter Jason Marquis and reliever Brian Bruney. Even after announcing Marquis’ signing on Tuesday, the team remains interested in rotation upgrades, one source said."

For all those interested in another starter, here's some hearsay evidence that says we're still out there looking.

Posted by: faNATic | December 22, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

@222: Remember, last year Bowden & Acta blew smoke at us that Thrilledge in CF, along with adding Dunn, Willingham, S. Olsen, Cabrera, and "a proven veteran presence" in the bullpen (Ledezma, Wells, Tavarez, Beimel, Sosa) would take the team to the next level. Well, that fell apart pretty quickly, didn't it?

With Bowden ousted early, then Acta later, the team started to round into a semblance of competetiveness. I'd like to think that is continuing under Rizzo & Riggleman into 2010.

Rizzo isn't perfect (see Kensing, Logan), but he seems to be moving the team forward in a "baseball-intelligent" fashion. As fans, we can finally have something to hang our hats on.

Posted by: BinM | December 22, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are in on Eddie Guardado? Is this the same Eddie Guardado who two years ago when he was with Texas and his teammates jokingly told him he had been traded to the Nationals vowed to quit baseball if he was sent to Washington? My, how players' attitudes change when they don't have the hammer and are looking for work.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 22, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

guardado? isn't one rag-armed, late 30-something-year-old soft-throwing lefthanded reliever enough for one team? JUST SAY NO to a clone of villone.

Posted by: surly_w | December 22, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

guardado? what, john franco won't come out of retirement?

Posted by: surly_w | December 22, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Depending on how much we pay for Guardado this may not be that bad of a signing. The Nats needed another reliable lefty in the bullpen and if he truly is a great mentor for young pitchers becoming closers (Capps, Bruney) then he should be worth the money.

With Rizzo instead of Bowden I feel like grown ups are in charge now.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 22, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Catchers:
1. Flores
2. Rodriguez

Infielders:
3. Dunn
4. Guzman
5. Desmond/SS to be named later
6. Zimmerman
7. Gonzalez

Outfielders:
8. Willingham
9. Morgan
10. Dukes
11. Harris
12. Bernardina/Maxwell

Starting Pitchers
13. Marquis
14. Lannan
15. Free Agent
16. Olsen
17. Stammen/Martin/Balester/Detwiler/Martis/Chico

Relief Pitchers
18. Capps(probably)
19. Bruney
20. Guardado
21. Burnett
22. Bergmann
23. Clippard
24. Mock

25. ????????????

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 22, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, we already know they don't have Rollie Fingers out there.

Although "clone of Villone" is a tad harsh, don't you think? Villone was never as good as Guardado used to be.
"Age and Treachery", remember?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

peteywheatstraw, I'd put Mike Morse in at 25 for an extra bat and back up at at 1B and 3B. I'd also put Olsen in with the bunch at 17. I don't think at this point he's a lock for the 4th spot.

As for Guardado, I'd be glad to see him with the Nats. He's not a closer anymore but he can probably get a lot of guys out from memory alone.

Go back to the quote Boswell always brings up from Davey Johnson on how to build a bullpen: "Find guys with guts enough to throw strikes." Guardado qualifies, IMO.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 22, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Guardado is a fine replacement for Villone (who we non-tendered). Otherwise our loogy was probably going to be Matt Chico. I wonder if Rizzo wants to complete the FA portion of his off-season before moving on to trades? He has Willingham he can move for a SP, and I was intrigued by Nolasco (although I doubt Florida would take the Hammer back) so maybe there are options out there we don't know about. At least we can hope.

Posted by: sec307 | December 22, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Ladson is reporting that Everyday Eddie signing with the Nats is a done deal.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 22, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Every day Eddie? Hop on the Irony Express - now boarding for Vierra, DC, possibly Syracuse, retirement, ...

I wonder if the distaste he had for Washington in 2008 had more to do with the management at that time, the city, or was simply one of those locker room pranks that he played to the audience on for comedic effect.

Regardless, I guess the appropriate thing to say is welcome aboard.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 22, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Slowly and methodically Mike Rizzo and StanK have assembled a first class panel of "brain trust" experts who have stared into the abyss and know how to bring a team from the brink of darkness to the light of day.

This team is being assembled piece by piece not to win the NL East in 2010 but teach the future stars (SS, Desmond, Maxwell, Zimm2, Lannen, Stammen, Flores,Clippard, Detwiller etc,) how to win. I actually heard Czaban today talking about the Nats and he said that he had been talking to Dibs about the Pudge signing and Dibs said its not about iRod being a missing piece to get the Nats over the top but more about being there to teach Flores how to handle pitchers, call games and create a game plan with them. So I guess the same could be said with Marquis and his presence to mentor Lannen, Stammen, SS, Detwiller and even "Jimmy" Olsen. Throw in Matts Capps or Eddie G and you have a something brewing here. e all know that Adam Dunn wants to play for a winner but he see's it probably the samew way as these other vets. The one thing this team has lacked since the end of 05 is the presence of proven major league players. Throwing a mix of rookies and 6 year FA journeymen out on the field wasn't productive for anyone. Now we can start to believe they are on the right path, the "Plan" is taking shape, hope will spring eternal and someday or maybe sooner your Washington Nationals will make DC Nats Town for real.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 22, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

seriously people. enough of this "mentoring crap. pudge to mentor flores. marquis to mentor young starters. guardado - the working man's ron villone - to mentor the bullpen. two of these guys were born when I was in high school nearly 40 years ago. basically rodriguez and guardado are old guys looking to hang on and make some more money. nationals park? more like jurassic park in those cases.

Posted by: surly_w | December 22, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

SURLY_W: Dude why don't you tell us how you really feel? don't hold back now LMAO!

Posted by: dargregmag | December 22, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Surly but thats the company line and its on the lips of every member of the Nats Brain Trust! It all about mentoring when your consistenly dropping C notes every year.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 22, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Tippy, it was the never-wases and never-will-bes that put us into the double-triple. These are old guys who know what winning is like, and how it's done. You should at least identify with the "old guys" part, and appreciate the winning habits they bring. And if they don't work out, they cut them and eat the salary, and what's that to us?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 22, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Did somebody call new post? Cuz there is one, for a little while it looks like.

And Sec3, I'm fairly certain you meant to address the Surly guy rather than the Tippy guy.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 23, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company