3:10pm: Márquez provided reporters with updates after the game, as relayed by Harding and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. He says his pain is in his triceps, not in the forearm like the previous issue that sent him to the injured list. Initial testing didn’t show significant damage but he’ll get an MRI in Denver tomorrow.
2:10pm: Rockies’ right-hander Germán Márquez departed today’s game, with Thomas Harding of MLB.com among those to relay the details. Márquez was visibly distraught on the mound, leading to a visit from the training staff and Márquez departing without hesitation after having thrown 58 pitches.
A pitcher leaving a game as a precautionary measure is quite common, but this instance is noteworthy on a few fronts. For one thing, Márquez just came off the injured list today, having spent the past 15 days there for forearm discomfort. It appeared he avoided significant injury based on his minimal absence, but it now seems possible the injury has been re-aggravated or was perhaps more serious than previously thought.
This is all still speculative at this point, but it would be a blow to the Rockies if Márquez ends up needing to miss more time as he’s been their best starting pitcher for the past few years. In just over 1,000 career innings coming into today, he had a 4.40 career ERA, no small feat for a pitcher who throws half of his innings at Coors Field. He’s struck out 22.9% of batters faced, walked just 7% and kept the ball on the ground at a 48.6% clip.
No team wants to lose its best starter for any amount of time but that’s especially true for a Colorado club that hasn’t had strong rotations in recent years. Right now, Kyle Freeland has a serviceable 4.28 ERA but with his strikeout rate down at 15.9%, a few ticks below his career norm. Austin Gomber has a 9.28 ERA on the campaign. Ryan Feltner has a 4.68 ERA despite a 12.7% walk rate. Noah Davis has a tiny 0.93 ERA this year but in just two starts and only one inning of prior major league experience. José Ureña was sitting on 9.82 before he was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for the return of Marquez.
If Márquez needs to miss some time, they have Connor Seabold and Peter Lambert on the 40-man roster, both of whom have career ERAs north of 7.00 in the big leagues and are currently above 5.00 in Triple-A this year. Antonio Senzatela will be an option eventually but is still working his way back from last year’s torn ACL. He recently pitched in extended Spring Training but is likely still a few weeks away at least.
For Márquez personally, he’s in the final guaranteed season of the $43MM extension he signed with the club in April of 2019, making $15MM this year. The club has a $16MM option for 2024 that comes with a $2.5MM buyout, making it a net $13.5MM decision. It would be a fairly easy decision for them to trigger that and keep Márquez around for his age-29 season if he were healthy, though that calculus could change if he needed to miss significant time.
The Rockies are currently 8-17 and generally aren’t expected to be in contention this summer. That would theoretically make Márquez a trade candidate, given the looming end of his contract. However, the Rockies have often been surprisingly unwilling to part with their players in deadline deals, even when it makes speculative sense. Recent years have seen them cling to players like Trevor Story, Jon Gray and Daniel Bard even when outside observers thought a trade could be on the table.
They designed Urena for assignment, maybe that assignment can be back to the major league roster?
Unfortunately it’s probably not a good sign for Marquez if he left with forearm discomfort again
Ureña is horrible. Give some younger arms a chance.
Even if he comes back healthy, Rockies won’t trade him at the deadline. They should, get some prospects and cash out at max value, but they won’t.
Or they’ll trade him for no appreciable talent plus pay the other team cash to finalize the deal.
Right, this is the same team that paid St. Louis an extra 50 million to unload Arenado. Forgot about that genius move.
Unlike Arenado, Marquez hasn’t been a whiny hothead the moment he signed his extension.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
He’s on, he’s off, he’s on, he’s off
More on’s, actually a consistent career so far
A steady force in Colorado