The Reds announced that they have designated right-hander Jason Marquis for assignment today (Twitter link). The move paves the way for the team to select the contract of right-hander Jon Moscot, who will start tonight’s game versus the Padres. Additionally, Cincinnati has placed righty Raisel Iglesias on the disabled list with an oblique strain and recalled right-handed reliever Pedro Villarreal from Triple-A Louisville in his place.
The veteran Marquis won a spot in Cincinnati’s rotation this spring when Tony Cingrani was somewhat unexpectedly shifted to the bullpen. While Cingrani has been one of the team’s more effective relievers in terms of ERA, Marquis has not experienced success in the rotation.
Marquis, 36, has totaled a 6.46 ERA in 47 1/3 innings with the Reds across nine starts. Though his 7.0 K/9 rate and 2.7 BB/9 rate are both markedly better than his career numbers in those categories, Marquis has been very homer-prone. He’s also seen his typically excellent ground-ball rate dip back to about the league average, so the increase in the percentage of fly-balls against him that leave the yard has been magnified by the fact that he’s giving up fly-balls at a higher rate in previous years.
The 23-year-old Moscot entered the season ranked 20th among Cincinnati farmhands by both Baseball America and Fangraphs, while MLB.com was a bit more optimistic, ranking him 14th. The consensus among the three scouting reports is that Moscot has a fifth starter’s ceiling thanks to four average pitches. BA notes that he lacks a true plus pitch, and while he has better pure stuff than former Reds farmhand Ben Lively (who was traded to the Phillies in exchange for Marlon Byrd), Lively misses far more bats due to better deception on the mound. FG’s Kiley McDaniel notes that while fifth starter is the upside, the Reds should be pleased if he turns out as a middle reliever or long man as well.