Colorado Rockies: Is Germán Márquez tipping pitches? The stats suggest he is

Jun 29, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) celebrates defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) celebrates defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Germán Márquez, Colorado Rockies
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 26: German Marquez #48 of the Colorado Rockies pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

When Germán Márquez is in the windup (no one on) he takes signs from the catcher. When someone’s on first, Márquez takes signs from the catcher. When someone’s in scoring position, Márquez and Serven/Diaz uses PitchCom.

Think back to Márquez’s splits here.

His wOBA is nearly 50 points lower with runners in scoring position compared to just having runners on.

I believe this points to the idea that whatever Márquez is doing when he’s taking signs from the catcher is a major factor in him tipping pitches. It could be the way he shakes his head, whether he looks into his glove or not, whether he looks over to the runner at first or not, whether he’s taking a deep breath or not, whether he fidgets with the ball in his glove or not.

Whatever it is, he’s at least not doing it as much when he’s getting the calls from PitchCom. And it’s certainly more noticeable when he’s pitching out of the stretch rather than from the windup.

This is pretty consistent through his recent starts too. He always takes signs from the catcher with no on one, always takes signs from the catcher with a runner at first and always switches to PitchCom once someone’s on second base. And after reviewing this closer, I think he should always be using PitchCom with runners on no matter what.

In today’s game, teams will do whatever they can to find an edge or find a tell with a pitcher and may go to great lengths to figure it out. There’s at least one National League team this year (that I’m aware of) that’s using facial recognition technology to figure out if pitchers are tipping pitches. If teams are taking those sort of measures to figure out a tell, they’ll find it.

Márquez needs to do whatever he can to limit the amount of times he’s tipping pitches. He’s still got a multitude of issues to figure out to get back to his normal self, but tipping pitches will only make positive progress that much harder to obtain.

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