Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Colorado Rockies' Jason Marquis Needs To Abandon New Mechanics

This offseason, Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd made a shrewd move by acquiring starting pitcher Jason Marquis for embattled reliever Luis Vizcaino.
The move made a lot of sense for the Rockies. It provided depth in the rotation and a veteran leader in the clubhouse to replace the loss of slugger Matt Holliday and the all time franchise leader in saves, Brian Fuentes.
Marquis has been as steady of a pitcher as they come. In the last five years, Marquis has won no less than 11 games.
Last week it was reported that Marquis has been tweaking his delivery and working on getting his arm to a different plane in order to be more effective.
Generally speaking, I cringe when I see stories like this. Realizing that the biggest part of surviving in the Major Leagues is making adjustments, it seems that the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" might come into play here.
Too many times we hear stories like this and then a year later the pitcher finds out they need surgery to fix something in their elbow or shoulder that went out of whack because of the new mechanics.
While acknowledging that it is only spring training and that no one refers to spring training numbers in June, Marquis has been getting lit up in his outings. His ERA going into Wednesday's game was above 9.00, and against the Angels he surrendered seven runs on six hits and two walks, in the second inning alone.
Obviously there is an adjustment period for a pitcher to put everything together when mechanics are tweaked, but if you are a 11+ game winner for the last five seasons, is it worth risking getting shelled, or worse getting injured?

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