Colorado Rockies: German Marquez using pitching tweak as advantage
By Kevin Henry
German Marquez will take the mound for the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates relying on a tweak in his delivery that has been incorporated for roughly a month now.
The 22-year-old right-hander enters the Pirates matchup with a 7-4 mark and 4.34 ERA on the season. Since moving closer to the third base side of the rubber roughly a month ago, Marquez has seen an uptick in his strikeouts. After compiling 21 in five starts in June, Marquez already has 20 in three starts before Saturday night.
Prior to Saturday night, Marquez is 2-0 with a 4.19 ERA in July. Those are his best marks since going 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA in May, including eight shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs on May 10.
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Colorado manager Bud Black told Rox Pile and other reporters on Saturday afternoon that the slight movement on the mound has created a bit of an advantage for Marquez with his pitches.
"“I think it creates a better angle for him with his breaking ball,” Black said. “And his fastball is pretty much a four-seamer with at times cutting action so I think the angle that it creates against both the right-handed hitter and the left-handed hitter are advantageous. I think the ball is breaking away much more effectively and coming in at a little different angle. It’s a different angle against the left-hander so I think that proves to be advantageous for German.”"
In July, Marquez has seen a rise in his ground out to fly out ratio as well. After marks of 0.82 in April, 0.83 in May and 0.69 in June, Marquez has a 1.27 this month.
Is Black seeing Marquez pitch with more confidence after the tweak?
"“He’s fairly confident to start with. I don’t know if it’s been noticeable,” Black said. “I think his overall pitching has been a little better. Usually when you’re making pitches and having success, that coincides with your confidence.”"
While Marquez has had success with the slight alteration in July, he’s also surrendering home runs at a high pace. In 23.0 innings last month, Marquez gave up two long balls. In 19.1 July innings, Marquez has already seen three homers leave the yard.
Next: The latest injury updates on Tyler Chatwood and Tyler Anderson
Marquez has 15 starts so far this season and has yet to come out of the bullpen. With Tyler Anderson, Tyler Chatwood and Chad Bettis working their way back from injuries, that could change. Marquez could see time in the bullpen as he did last season when he started three games and entered in relief in three others.