Rookie has made three appearances out of the bullpen for Rockies
By Ben Weinrib
DENVER -- Already sporting a young, talented, six-man rotation, the Rockies added another name to the mix in right-hander German Marquez, who will make his first Major League start on Wednesday against the Cardinals.
Marquez, Colorado's No. 6 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, was acquired in a January trade with Tampa Bay alongside left-hander Jake McGee for outfielder Corey Dickerson and third base prospect Kevin Padlo. He has risen quickly from Double-A Hartford -- where he was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year -- to earn a callup earlier this month.
In 166 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A Albuquerque, Marquez holds a 3.13 ERA with 155 strikeouts and 39 walks. He's made three relief appearances in the Majors, the first of his career, allowing three runs over 5 1/3 innings.
"It wasn't too different, because I just need to go to work and do my thing," Marquez said of transitioning from the bullpen back to starting. "It's not a big deal to do this, just do it. I'm confident in myself, and I worked very hard for that."
Scouting reports grade his control as above-average, which help his stuff play up. In his three appearances, Marquez's fastball has sat between 94 and 96 mph, which makes it easy to see why the coaching staff is excited about him.
"The easy velocity has a lot to do with it," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's very effortless. There's movement, and he's got a good breaking ball. The changeup is a bit of a work in progress, but we feel like that's coming. He does it with very little effort."
Marquez will take fellow rookie Jeff Hoffman's spot in the rotation, with Hoffman planned to come on in relief of Marquez on Wednesday. Adding Marquez to the rotation mix could make it easier to limit certain pitchers' innings.
Hoffman is a year off returning from Tommy John surgery and has already set a career high for innings in a season. Rookie left-hander Tyler Anderson missed all of 2015 with a stress fracture in his left elbow and also set a new innings high. Tyler Chatwood is coming off his second Tommy John surgery and set a professional innings high after missing all of last season, as well.
But Marquez also represents another starter going forward, and this is an opportunity for him to get his feet wet at the Major League level as a starter.
"We've seen him in a relief role up here, and obviously he's out of his element, but he's handled it well," Weiss said. "We'd like to give him a start or two."
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.