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Jason Marquis leaves rehab start healthy

Jason Marquis threw 54 pitches in 3 2/3 innings with 36 strikes in a rehab start with Class A Potomac Tuesday. He did not appear the pitcher that Nationals invested $15 million in during the offseason -- Marquis allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out three, walking one and hitting a batter -- but he apparently left the game healthy.

Marquis was not made available for comment, but Director of Player Development Doug Harris, who was present, said Marquis did not have any health issues after the game.

"We got him through the outing, no issues," Harris said. "He accomplished his 50 pitches and felt good afterward. That's the biggest thing we accomplished."

Marquis was 0-3 with a 20.52 ERA in three starts, a groundball pitcher failing to keep the ball on the ground. Those issues peaked on April 18, when Marquis allowed seven runs without registering a single out.

He went on the 15-day disabled list on April 19 because of bone chips in his right elbow, which helped explain the slow start. Tuesday marked his return to a game-like situation, and Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman said Marquis could return to the major league club after two rehab starts.

Catcher Derek Norris, one of the Nationals' top prospects, said Marquis's sinker was strong and the only issue was occasionally keeping the ball up because his arm started to drag.

"There's nothing really I can say that Pudge can't say that would be better," Norris said when discussing the mound visits, referring to Washington catcher Iván Rodríguez. Norris said Marquis was still able to make the ball sink and cut.

"Guys down here, velocity is minor to what's up there," Norris said. "Everybody's got velocity. It's why they get drafted. But it's the way the ball moves. He can sink it, he can cut it, and he does everything with it that can make the ball dance, and that's what makes him effective."

Harris was less focused on the results than the way Marquis felt. Harris said Marquis is still set for sidework on Thursday and if there are no problems, will have another rehab start at a site to be determined.

"The quality of his stuff is going to come with repetition," Harris said. "To think it's going to happen today, it's just not going to happen that way. We wanted to get him through 50 pitches and get him off the mound in a place where he feels good and he's building his arm. We accomplished that today."

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By Zach Berman  |  May 12, 2010; 12:55 AM ET
 | Tags: Derek Norris, Jason Marquis, Washington Nationals  
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Next: Again, the Nationals have to bounce back

Comments

We got lucky with Pudge and not so lucky with Marquis.

Posted by: roseglasses | May 12, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Does no one edit the Web site anymore?

Today's game article has the old "Chico Harlan" link to Nationals Journal at the bottom.

All those layoffs at the Post are really showing.

Posted by: Meridian1 | May 12, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Just a comment on Riggleman pulling Olsen last nite:

I wondered at the time whether to leave Olsen in, given the lead and the condition of the bullpen.

But I also understand Riggleman's thinking: Olsen wasn't sharp, and if he was going to bring in Bruney he didn't want to do it in a save situation. He wanted to give Bruney, Bautista a cushion, which had been provided by the first decent lead the team had produced in a while.

Every move is a gamble, every move plays the percentages. You can make the right move and still have it not work out. Riggleman has done a terrific job getting great results out of a team with obvious holes. He should absolutely get the benefit of the doubt (and it's a good thing that Olsen was angry -- it shows he cares).

Maybe this was a wake-up call for everybody. The team has been getting away with living on the edge despite some important weaknesses: Middle relief and setup MUST be improved if the team is to stay above .500 (let alone contend); defensive lapses are creeping back (missed cutoff men, fly balls dropping between fielders).

Rizzo knows what the fixes are, Ray Knight talked about it after the game. Bruney needs to be shelved, Storen and maybe more brought up. And the good news is that the run production last night was improved (although a timely hit from Zimmerman or Morgan with the bases loaded would have put it away for good).

Unravel the team? It shouldn't. But it would be a mistake to just dismiss it as "one of those nights." It was the unmasking of a problem everyone has known about but managed around. Now it's time to fix it.

Posted by: Meridian1 | May 12, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the bullpen situation is as dire as some here would have it.

When Storen comes up - and I can wait until June, for the reasons we all know - we'll have him, Clippard, Walker, and Slaton for the late innings, and Capps to finish. That's not a half-bad bullpen, frankly. And with luck, we can trade Bruney to the Pirates for a right fielder, which is how we got Tony Plush for GasCanRahan and Thrilledge.

Dunno if Clippard is simply reverting to the mean or not, but last night, he was clearly off his game. He was throwing pitches everywhere except where Pudge was setting up.

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 12, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

The headline of this post says that Marquis left his rehab start healthy.

But he gave up three earned runs in three innings, and he still has bone chips in his elbow. I presume the chips aren't going to just dissolve somehow, and I presume he'll have to pitch to major-league batters someday instead of single-A people.

So am I somehow misunderstanding the term "healthy"?

Posted by: shepdave2003 | May 12, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Ya- I do not know how to read anything positive about this.

Posted by: Tom8 | May 12, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"healthy" as in he will live a long and fruitful life... "on life support" when it comes to his place in the Nats rotation...

Posted by: g3jr | May 12, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Update from Mark Zuckerman (who actually seems to know what's going on): Marquis will very likely have arthroscopic surgery on the elbow.

So, no, not healthy at all. As a matter of fact, pretty much the opposite of what this post says.

http://natsinsider.blogspot.com/2010/05/marquis-surgery-likely.html

Posted by: shepdave2003 | May 12, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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