San Diego Padres Jason Marquis Continues Unlikely Comeback

By Bill Negron
Jennifer Stewart-USA Today Sports

It was not even two months into the 2012 season, but on May 28, 2012, the Minnesota Twins had finally seen enough. After seven starts Jason Marquis was 2-4 with an 8.47 ERA. Marquis was released by the Twins.

Marquis was 33-years-old at the time and many baseball pundits openly wondered whether Marquis would ever be a viable pitcher in the big leagues again.

After all, 2010 and 2011 had not exactly been stellar for Marquis either. In 2010, with the Washington Nationals, Marquis posted a 2-9 record with a 6.60 ERA in 13 starts. In 2011, things for Marquis would only improve slightly as he started the season with the  Nationals and posted a respectable 8-5 record with a 3.95 ERA. However, he was traded to the Arizona Diamonbacks late in the season and had three disastrous starts. In those three starts Marquis lasted only 11 1/3 innings with an astronomical 9.53 ERA.

Marquis’ career could have been over after being released by the Twins or he could have signed with a team and started the long way back to the big leagues wading through several minor league stops along the way. However, Marquis was out of work all of one day. On May 29, 2012, the San Diego Padres signed Marquis and after making only one successful minor league start with the Padres AA affiliate in San Antonio, Marquis was back in the big leagues.

Pitching at friendly Petco Park, Marquis had a respectable season with the Padres, posting a 4.04 ERA and win-loss record of 6-7. When Marquis’ season ended last year he was actually pitching his best baseball of the season. Unfortunately, his season was cut short when the Pittsburgh Pirates Pedro Alverez hit a line drive that Marquis was unable to avoid and it broke his left hand. He had posted five wins in eight starts after the All-Star break. Marquis resigned with the Padres this offseason to a one-year $3 million deal.

So the question many had was how would Marquis fare in 2013? Which Marquis would show up for spring training? The pitcher from Minnesota and Arizona or the pitcher from the second half of last year?

Well, so far, so good. Or can I say so far, so great? Marquis turned in his best performance of the spring on Monday. He tossed six innings, allowing only one run on five hits in a 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers. After the strong performance on Monday, it gave Marquis’ his first win this spring. More importantly, in 18 innings pitched he has posted a solid 2.00 ERA.

Marquis is expected to be the third starter in the rotation this year and although it is only spring training, his work so far this Spring has been very encouraging for the Padres who will be in need of solid starting pitching performances in 2013 in order to win consistently.

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