Marquis not concerned about rough first start
Righty looking to iron out mechanical flaw with pitching coach
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was a good thing it was only Spring Training.
Right-hander Jason Marquis struggled in his Grapefruit League debut with his new club, allowing four runs on three hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings in the Twins' 10-2 loss to the Red Sox on Monday night.
Marquis isn't worried about results just yet, as it was the first time in a game since Aug. 15, when his season ended with a trip to the disabled list after a line drive broke his right leg in a game against the D-backs.
"I really feel like you do need some positive results come the last few starts -- the last two -- as it gets closer to the season," said Marquis. "The first three or four [games], you're really just trying to get a feel for what you've worked on leading up to Spring Training and early in camp."
Marquis had trouble commanding his sinker Monday, as he threw it into the dirt several times, which led to three wild pitches.
Marquis was fine with the movement of his pitches, but said he suffered from some mechanical issues, which he's looking to iron out this spring with the help of pitching coach Rick Anderson.
"The ball was sinking," Marquis said. "Sometimes I get my arm angle too high and I get inside the ball, which leads to me spiking a lot of pitches like I did tonight. Just a little key in my delivery that I spoke about with Andy earlier in spring to keep an eye out for. We talked about it when I came out of the game. It's just one of those things where game competition somehow brings out a little more adrenaline, a little more fire, a little more speed in your delivery and just got to get accustomed to that again."
Marquis also had to get accustomed to throwing to his new catcher -- Joe Mauer.
Mauer looked good at the plate again, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, but admitted he got mixed up a few times with Marquis on the mound.
"It was his first time out there, so we got crossed up a little bit," Mauer said. "His ball was moving a lot. He relies on a lot of movement and we just got crossed up, because we're getting to know each other. A couple got away from me, but that's what we're in Spring Training for. We're trying to get on the same page."
Marquis, though, has never been one to take his Spring Training stats too seriously. He has a career 5.84 ERA in Spring Training compared to a career 4.55 ERA during the regular season.
Marquis was signed to a one-year, $3 million deal this offseason to help add stability to Minnesota's rotation as a backend starter with the ability to eat innings.
Marquis has tossed at least 190 innings in five of his past eight seasons, but he threw just 132 innings last year due to his broken leg.
Marquis said he was a little anxious to make his return to the mound on Monday, and despite the results, he was pleased to be back out there.
"It was the first time really that I ended the season on an injury," Marquis said. "To have that extra six to eight weeks of sitting around, watching teammates at the end of last year and you can't do anything about it was a little bit tough. To get that feeling back was nice."
Marquis added he's healthy this year and is looking to do more than just accumulate innings with the Twins this season.
"Not just innings pitched, quality innings," Marquis said. "Anybody can go out there and take the ball and throw 200 innings, but they've got to be quality innings. And if you are making it to 200, the majority of them are going to be quality."
So while his Grapefruit League debut with the Twins was one to forget, Marquis was quick to point out it was just his first start of the spring and he expects to get better with each outing leading up to the start of the regular season.
"It's only my first start," Marquis said. "Hopefully I've got five or six more before the season starts. When the bell rings come April, you've got to be ready, no matter how you feel in Spring Training."