Jason Marquis takes pride in taking the ball regularly

The Twins pitching staff has durability concerns, and the team hopes the veteran can be a rotation mainstay.


Jason Marquis went 8-6 with a 4.43 ERA in stints with Washington and Arizona last season.

Photo: Ross D. Franklin, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Jason Marquis' final start of 2011 was one example of what he stands for as a pitcher -- and one reason the Twins reached agreement with him on a one-year, $3 million contract.

Pitching for Arizona against the Mets on Aug. 14, Marquis took a batted ball off his right leg. He finished that inning, took his turn at bat in the bottom of the inning and then threw 13 pitches in the fourth inning before falling to the ground.

He had suffered a broken fibula.

"Well, I don't know any other way, really," Marquis, 33, said Thursday during a conference call with Twin Cities media. "My job is to take the ball every five days and try to go deep into a game and try to win. I pride myself on that."

Marquis made at least 28 starts every season between 2004 and '09. He was on pace to do that again last season before the broken leg took him out of the Diamondbacks' postseason run.

A 2009 All-Star with Colorado, Marquis then signed a two-year, $15 million deal with Washington. He slumped badly in 2010, when he had bone chips removed from his elbow, finishing 2-9 with a 6.60 ERA in 13 starts. He bounced back to go 8-5 with a 3.55 ERA for the Nationals in 2011 before being dealt to Arizona.

The Twins need his durability, as Carl Pavano was their only starter to reach 200 innings last season.

"This helps us in many ways," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. "It gives us a veteran starter in the rotation. It gives us some depth if we have some injuries."

The only arm trouble Marquis has had came in 2010.

"He's a ground-ball machine," Ryan said. "He throws the ball over the plate. I think this ballpark [Target Field] will suit our needs and his. We've got to support him defensively."

Even Marquis added that he "pitches to contact and uses the defense to win games." He does so with a sinking fastball that has good movement. For his career, he averages 1.1 home runs given up per nine innings.

The Twins were working hard on signing lefthander Paul Maholm before talks broke down in recent days. So they turned their attention to Marquis.

Marquis didn't sound too concerned about switching leagues. He said he will rely on pitching coach Rick Anderson and scouting reports to come up with ways to shut down hitters he's not familiar with.

"It's baseball," Marquis said. "Pitch execution. Obviously, the more times you do it, the more success you have, no matter what league you are in."

Liriano won't pitch in winter ball

Ryan confirmed that Francisco Liriano will not pitch winter ball this offseason. The Twins wanted to limit the lefthander to 25-30 innings, which wouldn't have been a good fit in a league where teams are under the gun to win. Instead, Liriano has been working out at the Twins' Dominican Republic academy in Boca Chica.


    • 33-year-old righthander.

    • Joining his seventh major league team and his first in the AL.

    • 104-98 with a 4.55 ERA in 12 big-league seasons.

    • Made 20 starts for Washington last season and three for Arizona.

    • Two-time 15-game winner (2004, 2009).

    • All-Star for Colorado in 2009.

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