Marquis is a groundball pitcher who lives off his hard, sinking, two-seam fastball. He throws the pitch in the low-90s, and when he can consistently place the pitch at the bottom of the strikezone, you see a ton of groundballs pounded into the infield. If he's wild and falls behind, he can get hit hard, like any pitcher can, but guys like this have an even greater tendency to seem either great or terrible, because there aren't many pitches that are easier to hit than elevated 90-mph two-seam fastball. So you're warned, there will be nights when he's the absolute meat, and if Riggleman has any sense, he'll let him pitch through it.
He also throws a change, curve, and slider, but the fastball is his bread-and-butter, and he throws it over 60% of the time.
He struck out 12.5% of batters faced in 2009, walked 8.7%, and got groundballs on 55% of balls in play. That's a very low strikeout rate (about the lowest you can possibly get away with, in fact), but the walk rate is average and the groundball rate is excellent. All that adds up to average (and efficient).
His all-star season in 2009 really was his best year--it wasn't just the fluky abberations of W-LHe threw his regular 200 innings, but his xFIP was and tRA were both a full half a run better than in recent seasons, a result of a groundball rate that jumped from the good high-40s to the great mid-50s. We'll see if that continues--it's not luck, but there's no guarantee he can keep it up either.
Some national outlets are chattering about how the Nationals shouldn't make this move, since they're going to be bad regardless, but I continue to believe that Rizzo's most important job this winter is to build a team with enough stability to ensure that Stephen Strasburg never goes to the mound with a 9-game losing streak and a burned bullpen. That's asking for injury, and it's what cost us Jordan Zimmermann and Craig Stammen in 2009.
- He was born on Long Island and grew up in Staten Island. With John Lannan hailing from LI, and Jason Bergmann growing up not far away in New Jersey, you'll know where to go looking for tickets when The Boss comes to town.
- He's one of the only Jews in MLB. There are no other Jewish players on the Nationals, discounting when Mark Lerner shags flies.
- When he was 12, he threw a no-hitter in the Little League World Series.
- Unlike almost all other Nationals starters, he can hit. His career batting average is .202.