For one night…for six innings…for 80 pitches, Jeff Marquez could focus on just baseball.
There was no thinking about what his fate might be once his rehab clock runs out and he has to either be added to the Major League roster or put through waivers. No wondering if he’d get a sixth different uniform this season. It was just him, the ball and the catcher’s glove.
“It’s tough not to (think about it), because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Marquez said.
“But at the same time, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t really worry about it.”
What Marquez can control, however, is his pitching…and aside from a third inning in which he allowed two runs on three hits, he was essentially flawless. He threw 80 pitches (44 for strikes) and touched 93 MPH on the radar gun, pitching for his fifth different team this season (GCL Yankees, Tampa, NY Yankees, Charlotte and Trenton).
“I had 85 pitches, and I was hoping to go seven. But I got six and felt real good and we got the win. It was a decent day,” said Marquez, who is on the 60-Day MLB disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
“I lost a little focus (in the third), at times you lose a little focus. But as long as you can get back on the right track and get that focus back…then the rest of the game went well.”
Marquez is going to prepare as though he’s starting five days from now, which is a process that will include some long toss tomorrow at Waterfront Park and a bullpen side session…somewhere, between now and then. The 27-year-old is hoping that whether it be the Yankees or somewhere else, he gets another opportunity to pitch at the big league level.
“While I was up with the Yankees, I felt like I was pitching well and I was feeling good,” he said.
“It was kind of just a weird feeling the last day I threw. I felt a little tweak in my arm, and I didn’t really want to say anything at first, because you want to be up there in the big leagues. It’s where you feel like you belong. But it got to the point where you have to say something. Unfortunately, it turned into this long process. But I’m feeling good now, and I’m ready to go wherever the Yankees want to put me. If not, hopefully in the big leagues somewhere.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com