Yanks welcome Jason Marquis to the AL

The early season DH production
Chris Stewart and the squeeze bunt

Today on NJ.com, Marc Carig posted a quick hit on Hiroki Kuroda’s stance on hitting. When asked if he missed taking at-bats in the National League, Kuroda replied, “I don’t miss it at all.” Tonight Kuroda will make his third American League start, and he’ll be going against a fellow newcomer to the Junior Circuit. Jason Marquis has spent parts of 12 seasons in the NL, starting with the Braves and moving onto the Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Nationals, and Diamondbacks. Now, at age 33, he makes is AL debut. Life could get a bit rougher for him, too.

Like Kuroda, Marquis won’t miss holding a bat. In 625 career PA he’s a .197/.216/.283 hitter. In the last three seasons he’s gone 22 for 132, a .167 average, with just two walks. The only problem, however, is that while Marquis himself will not hold a bat, he also won’t face any opposing pitchers. That could be quite an issue for the low-strikeout Marquis.

For his career Marquis has struck out 974 of 7328 total batters faced, or a paltry 13.3 percent. Yet of those 974 strikeouts, 173 have come against the opposing pitcher. That amounts to 18 percent of his career strikeouts. Moreover, his career strikeout rate against pitchers is 33.1 percent, against 11.8 percent against non-pitchers. Last year only three qualified pitchers had strikeout rates below 11.8 percent: Jeff Francis, Carl Pavano, and Brad Penny. The results there weren’t particularly pretty.

What’s worse for Marquis is that his strikeout rate has declined since his mid-20s. From his age-21 through his age-25 seasons he struck out 16 percent of opposing batters. But from his age-26 through his age-32 seasons he has struck out just just 12.1 percent of all batters. Again, combined with his strikeout rate against pitchers — 30 percent since 2005 — it adds up to trouble when facing pitcher-less AL lineups. That goes doubly for a high-powered offense such as the Yankees.

From all appearances, Marquis seems set up to fail. He’s a lifetime NL pitcher who has a hard time generating swings and misses in the first place. Now he’s moving to the AL, where he not only has no pitcher on whom to pick, but also a full-time hitter with whom to contend. It makes me wonder whether we’re in store for what Mike terms a reverse lock. Are the Yanks so well match against Marquis that they’re destined for failure? I damn well hope not. This is one guy the Yanks should pound on and pick up a relatively easy victory against.

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The early season DH production
Chris Stewart and the squeeze bunt
  • jay destro

    the pride of tottenville high school

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Time will tell if Joe just f’ing jinxed the team tonight.

    • steve s

      Check out a new book called The JuJu Rules by Hart Seely. Joe’s purported jinxing is a drop in the bucket as to all the crazy superstitions/behaviors Yankee fans have (at least Seely the Yankee fan) regarding their ability to influence Yankee outcomes!

      • Dummies Playing With Balls (formerly Rainbow Connection)

        Humor meter still broken at RAB.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I found what he had to say interesting.

          • jsbrendog

            that squirrel sure can waterski

      • johnnybk

        I slept with a red sox fan after we beat the shit out of them in game 3. I will never forgive myself.

        • handtius

          what was his name?

          • johnnybk

            It was franny the tranny, and she was post-op. Don’t judge me.

    • RkyMtnYank

      After reading this article I thought the same thing. I don’t really believe there is any correlation but I thought the same thing after Monday’s “Yanks can’t lose” article too, but that was written by Mike.

  • Rey22

    Knock on wood.

  • Jeff Karstens, Male Model

    Well, we’ll have Raul’s stellar glove in the field tonight to even the odds some…

    • Monterowasdinero

      Could Nunez be any worse?

  • the Other Steve S.

    Pavano didn’t look too good going into Monday’s game. You can’t predict baseball.

    • forensic

      I don’t think pavanos performance was very surprising or unpredictable. He’s now faced the yanks 5 times since leaving, all with pretty similar lines, with Monday’s frustrating games actually being the second worst of those five starts, so it wouldn’t be too difficult to have imagined him doing even better than he did. Add in the general lack of hitting team wide, other than a game or two outburst, and it’s easy to predict.

      • Steve (different one)

        They’ve played 11 games and scored 5 or more runs 8 times.

      • Havok9120

        Its like you ignore all evidence except that which “proves” your opinion. We’re scoring a lot of runs, and not even in a couple of big blowout games and never anywhere else. I know a lot of the big bats are starting slow, but the rest of the lineup is out preforming itself to make up for their current slump.

        • forensic

          What am I ignoring? The lineup overall isn’t really producing. Outside of jeter, they’ve scored most of their runs based on some walks and a few well-timed homers. You’re not going to get those walks against this team in general, so you need more. They haven’t had the more they need for the most part this year, especially with the 3-4-5 part of the lineup still almost invisible.

  • http://www.geeks2you.net Marc

    Let’s give him a warm Yankees welcome by hitting a grand slam off him!

    • Cris Pengiucci

      +1. The appropriate welcome for him.

  • forensic

    I know the numbers are from 2007 and before, but I still kind of wish Jones was in the lineup tonight. 9-12 with 5 homers is pretty impressive.

    I just hope there’s no repeat of his start against the yanks from 2005 where he dominated.

    • http://www.jeffersonjay.com Jefferson Jay

      Darn tootin’. These folks got me straight fired-up about the prospect.

  • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

    Reverse lock + the fact that the Yankees have never seen him = Marquis throws a no-no tonight.

    I’m not even going to watch the game.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    Hopefully Robbie or Alex can give him a nice Yankee Stadium welcome with a shot over the auxiliary scoreboard.

    • forensic

      Since A-Rod has the night off, that might be difficult for him to do.

      • LiterallyFigurative

        thanks for the heads up on that. Didn’t know the lineup was out.

  • Smacknally

    Yanks have never faced him? He will dominate them.