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For now, Jason Marquis remains in the Nationals rotation

After another horrendous outing Saturday night, Jason Marquis will likely make his next start as scheduled and he will remain with the Nationals for the remainder of the season. Marquis allowed five earned runs in four innings Saturday, which actually lowered his to 14.33 after five starts.

The Nationals have several options, especially with an off day Monday, including giving Jordan Zimmermann his 2010 major league debut. But "when the dust settles, we'll probably run Jason out there again," Manager Jim Riggleman said.

Riggleman added later, "I'm a woman. I can change my mind. I'm not going to be locked into anything, but as I sit here right now I'm anticipating he'll make his next start."

The Nationals could use Craig Stammen or Miguel Batista, who are both currently long relievers. Riggleman also broached the idea of Zimmermann making his debut before September arrives.

Zimmermann will make his third start with Class AAA Syracuse today. Zimmermann's schedule calls for him to pitch five innings today and then another five innings five days from now. If his velocity remains the consistent in that start from today's, then the Nationals will call him up.

Riggleman, though, said it's possible that Zimmermann starts for the Nats sooner. "I think Jordan is champing at the bit to have been here last week," Riggleman said. "He feels like he's ready. I'm sure he feels like five days from now, he's ready to pitch. That's something we'll consider. The likelihood is he'll stay down there a little longer."

Cuban right-hander Yunesky Maya could replace Marquis in the rotation eventually, but his ascension to the majors appears roughly two weeks away. Maya made his first competitive start Friday with the Nationals' Gulf Coast League affiliate, and he'll make another start at that level Wednesday. Maya will make at least one start at a higher level in the minors before joining the Nationals.

In the meantime, the Nationals hope Marquis can right himself. They also realize they can stand only so much damage to their bullpen and their chances at winning the games he starts.

"If he's progressing and getting more action on the ball, getting more groundballs, then certainly we see that things are moving in the right direction," Riggleman said. "We can't just let him be out there and get his brains beat out, either. He's got a lot of pride. He's working very hard. He doesn't like what's going on. Nobody is bothered by this more than he is. It's going to be up to him to pitch his way out of it."

If Marquis continues producing wretched results, then the Nationals will still keep Marquis in the majors. Since rosters expand Sept. 1, the Nationals will be able to move Marquis to the bullpen in an effort to salvage his season.

"That's certainly not what we want to do," Riggleman said. "We want to get this straightened out."

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 15, 2010; 1:25 PM ET
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Next: Game 118 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Diamondbacks


Why??????????????????????????????? I am a season ticket holder and think it is unfair to anyone who has paid for a ticket to have to watch Marquis pitch. I go to root for the Nats and hope they win. Why waste my time going to see the Nats knowing that they have zero chance of winning with him on the mound? They should pay me to watch this bum pitch. Or at least give me a refund for any games that he pitches.

Posted by: lj1126 | August 15, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a woman.I can change my mind " - J. Riggleman
After Miss Iowa, Dibble's caveman rant, BCarp's 5 hour flight comment, is there something in the water at NatsPark that makes everybody revert to some sort of 1960's sitcom stereotype of women? Don't these guys have mothers, wives, sisters, girlfriends? I mean, I understand that most MLB players & the folks that hang around them aren't the most fascinating guys off the field, but they seem to be going out of their way to sound like they're in some timewarp. I work with women, I've been married to one, I have a daughter, a sister, a mother, a girlfriend - their cliches aren't even close to reality. I know I'm OT, but pull your head out, guys...geez

Posted by: NATurallyYours | August 15, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

First, Dribble has apologised in today's game and allegedly on a MASN blog. Second, sorry OT Womean change their mind quicker than men do. That means you, OT, and I are stuborn, while womena are more flexable. Go see "Defending the Caveman" babe and you won't be as thin skinned about "Vive la difference."


For good of ill, you buy a ticket to watch a baseball game. Last night, I watched Marquis not perform once again from my seat (guess where). It still was baseball game. Thus, no refund for me or for you. Show up for his next start if you are scheduled to go because you will kick yourself if (there is always an if in baseball) he performs well and the NATS win.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | August 15, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Of course he's still in the rotation with that idiot rigglemanure calling the shots.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | August 15, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

THE MARQUIS SHIFT: Any coach or manager's job is to put his or her players in the best position to succeed, maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses. To that end, I believe that Jim Riggleman has failed when it comes to Jason Marquis. Rather than positioning his fielders in their normal spots and hoping in vain that the batters hit the ball in their proximity, I think he should instead position the fielders where the batters are hitting the ball when Marquis pitches. With that thought, I bring you a proposed fielding alignment, which I call "The Marquis Shift".!/photo.php?pid=170301&id=100000812843980

Posted by: jsparks | August 15, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

if (there is always an if in baseball) he performs well and the NATS win.

Yeah, if the Nat's offense had showed up in May, June and July, we wouldn't be saying "if".
"If" Marquis can keep the ball down.
"If" he has more movement on his pitches.
"If" the opposing team should for some reason swing at those pitches and miss. "If" the Nat's bats shows up.
"If" the Nats fielding shows up.
Lot's of "if"'s for a Marquis win.

Posted by: M20832 | August 15, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm....what's his ERA? A paltry 14.33 you say? No problem! The Nat's Manager will make sure he stays in the rotation to try and get that 7.5 million back some how. Even if we lose all his starts!

Posted by: M20832 | August 15, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

So what did Dibble say that produced the ruckus?

Posted by: paulkp | August 15, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Its pretty easy. Marquis will start two more times. If he is still awful which, I expect he will be, then Zimmermann will take his spot.

If he replaced Marquis now, Stammen would likely only make two starts and then move back to the pen when Zimmermann arrives.

Unless you are going to keep Stammen in the rotation, it doesn't make sense to move Marquis now.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 16, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

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