Even if Jason Marquis isn’t a great pitcher, he’s definitely a great pitchman. When the Mets had some interest in him he went all-in on his “I’m a New York guy” spiel. Now that the Mets’ interest has cooled, he has launched straight into “I can help the Nats” mode:
Marquis said he can be one person who can help Washington’s young
pitching staff, which includes John Lannan and Garrett Mock. Marquis
indicated that he can teach the young kids what he learned from
veterans like Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Chris Carpenter and Matt
Morris . . . “Learning from those veterans, learning how to win and
recognizing situations, I felt I brought that to the table in Colorado
and I really helped … De La Rosa and Jimenez, who were trying to get
over that hump,” said Marquis. “I feel I could bring that [kind of
leadership] to a team.”
I’m dubious that his hanging around guys like Maddux, Glavine, Carpenter and Morris will help Washington’s young pitchers too much, because it’s really not all that apparent that it has helped Marquis. For all of his available mentors, he’s more or less the same pitcher he’s always been — inconsistent — and there aren’t a lot of examples of that kind of osmosis working with many guys. If it did, Horacio Ramirez would be better.
But Marquis would be a useful addition in Washington. Partially because what he brings — a lot of average/occasionally above-average innings — is something Washington could definitely use. And while the mentorship thing may not work the way Marquis suggests it does, having a guy who actually wants to pitch in Washington and wants to help the young pitchers would be a definite plus for the Nationals.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is still open to extension talks during the last week of spring training. Once Opening Day rolls around, however, Molina has preemptively nixed any contract negotiations until the end of the 2017 season, when he’s scheduled to hit free agency.
Molina wants to stay with the Cardinals, or so he’s telling reporters, but he’s also “not afraid” to test the free agent market this fall should a deal fail to materialize. Via Goold:
I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.
The 34-year-old backstop is entering his final year under contract, though Goold points out that he has a $15 million option for 2018 that he can choose to decline in the event that it’s exercised by the team. He’s reportedly searching for a figure closer to those made by other top catchers like Buster Posey and Russell Martin.
The 2017 season will mark Molina’s 14th year in the Cardinals’ organization, building on a career that has spanned seven All-Star campaigns, nine postseason runs and two World Series championships in St. Louis. He batted .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs and a .787 OPS for the club in 2016.