Marquez Grows Into A Front-Line Arm

DENVERJake McGee was the bigger name, but German Marquez was the Rockies’ most coveted acquisition in the January trade that sent outfielder Corey Dickerson and third baseman Kevin Padlo to the Rays in return for reliever McGee and Marquez.

“This isn’t just some throw-in prospect,” farm director Zach Wilson said. “This is a dude with front-of-the-rotation stuff and a front-of-the-rotation mindset.”

In 21 starts at Double-A Hartford, Marquez, a 21-year-old Venezuelan, went 9-6, 2.85 to earn a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque. He led the Eastern League in innings (136) and strikeouts (126) with just 33 walks at the time he was promoted.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound righthander, who signed with Tampa Bay in 2011, worked eight innings in three of his final five starts and took a no-hitter into the eighth in two of them. Marquez’s fastball usually settles in at 94-96 mph and has reached 98, said Wilson, who added Marquez’s fastball can register at 95 in the eighth inning.

“That’s a credit to the looseness of his arm,” Wilson said, “the fluidity of his arm action with his delivery and his ability to keep his legs underneath him for seven, eight innings.”

Marquez also has learned to land his curveball for strikes, using it on consecutive pitches this year at times and dropping it on the back foot of a lefthanded hitter. His changeup has also been a point of emphasis this season.

“It used to be a changeup where he would slow his arm down, and he would push it,” Wilson said. “We’ve been very much focused on that, and that’s come a long way.”

After acquiring Marquez, the Rockies sent him to their Dominican complex to work with Latin American pitching coach Edison Lora. It was there, under Lora’s tutelage, that he began to grow into the pitcher he is today.

“He’s certainly made some big strides from when we acquired him to now, especially with his delivery,” Wilson said. “He’s staying on line and staying taller on the back side. That started right when we got him . . . and it’s continued since.”


• Hartford outfielder Raimel Tapia, who hit .323/.363/.450 with eight homers, was promoted to Albuquerque. Reliever Matt Carasiti, who recorded 29 saves with a 2.31 ERA at Double-A, made only a brief stop at Albuquerque before making his big league debut.

• Righthander Yency Almonte moved to Hartford from high Class A Modesto. He went 8-9, 3.71 with 134 strikeouts and 39 walks in the California League.

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