Could Jason Marquis be left off the postseason rotation?

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Seems crazy given the fact that he was an All Star and has 15 wins, but given his late season slide, including last night’s loss, people are talking about it in Denver:

An all-star, one of baseball’s most
pleasant surprises for four months, Marquis has raised at least a
morsel of doubt regarding his playoff rotation spot . . .
If, as expected, the Rockies reach the
postseason, they must configure their rotation. As it stands, the only
lock is Ubaldo Jimenez for the Oct. 7 opener, followed closely by Jorge
De La Rosa, Marquis, Jason Hammel and Aaron Cook. Only four starters
would be necessary, leaving Cook an X-factor to wedge himself back in
with a strong showing Friday. A rotation without Marquis seems a
longshot but can no longer be dismissed out of hand.

Marquis has gotten used to being left out of the mix in the postseason. Early in his career it was because he was the least-essential pitcher on the Atlanta Braves. More recently, it’s because he’s posted poor second halves, not unlike the one he has going on this year.  He’s the bizarro Adam LaRoche, really.

If the postseason started today, the Rockies would face the Cardinals. Marquis has faced St. Louis once this year, and pitched well. He’s done pretty decently against them overall in his career, posting a 9-7 record and a 3.80 ERA.  My guess is that he’s in the rotation, but the very fact that reasonable people are suggesting he might not be bodes ill for the Rockies’ chances once the playoffs start.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.