Marks Almost Ready For Kansas City

Lefty expected to start 2013 in Triple-A





KANSAS CITY—Lefthander Justin Marks is on the mark to be in the Kansas City rotation by 2014—or perhaps sooner.

"Soon as possible," Marks said. "I think everybody has got that mindset. If it could happen now or next year or whenever they think I'm ready."

Marks, who will likely open 2013 with Triple-A Omaha, did nothing in the Arizona Fall League to deter the view that he'll be major league-ready soon. He went 4-0, 2.20 for the Surprise Saguaros, leading the league in victories. In 16 innings, he walked five and struck out 13, while allowing four earned runs and 15 hits.

Marks, 24, was drafted in the 37th round in 2006 by the Red Sox out of Owensboro (Ky.) High, but never came close to signing. He went to Louisville, where he was the Big East Conference freshman of the year in 2007 and helped the Cardinals advance to the College World Series. He was the Big East pitcher of the year in 2009 and left Louisville as the school's all-time leader in wins, strikeouts and ERA. The Athletics made him a third-round pick in 2009, and the Royals acquired him in 2010 as part the David DeJesus trade.

"It took me by surprise," Marks said. "It was my first year. I was new to the professional scene. I didn't understand the concept of being traded right in the middle of the offseason."

It turned out to be a good situation for Marks.

"Obviously, they need starting pitching right now," Marks said. "Hopefully, I can advance through the organization and become one of their starters."

Marks went 3-5, 3.80 with 73 strikeouts and 38 walks in 85 innings at Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2012. He missed six weeks with a fractured left orbital bone from an off-field accident the day before he was to pitch in the Texas League All-Star game.

Marks has a 91-93 mph fastball and throws a curveball, slider and changeup. He said he uses one of his breaking balls as his out pitch.

ROYALTIES

• The Royals claimed righthander Guillermo Moscoso off waivers from the Rockies. He went 3-2, 6.12 in 23 appearances, including three starts, last season with Colorado.

• Catcher Brett Hayes was claimed off waivers from the Marlins. Hayes was a 2005 second-round pick of the Marlins.