The righthander spent two weeks in New York tending to his injured daughter. The club hopes he'll be ready for the rotation by mid-April.
FORT MYERS, FLA. - Righthander Jason Marquis will not start the season with the major league club. He has missed two weeks of spring training waiting for his 7-year-old daughter, Reese, to open her eyes.
Marquis has been with his wife, Debbie, at their home in Staten Island, N.Y. after their daughter was seriously injured in a bicycle accident.
Baseball had to take a back seat, although he did throw off a mound when he could.
"She was sedated for nine days," he said, declining to discuss her specific injuries. "I couldn't leave until I saw her eyes, heard her voice. Baseball is able to give me a mental break. I wouldn't be around here for 13 years if baseball wasn't an escape. Obviously this is the worst thing I've ever been through in my life, but you do go through other hardships throughout your career, and you get on the mound, and in the clubhouse, it sort of eases your mind a little bit."
The plan now is for him to build up enough arm strength to enter the Twins rotation sometime this month.
"She's making a lot of progress; everything's going in the right direction," Marquis said of his daughter. "... The initial four or five days were a nightmare, something that no parent should ever live through.
"But with the support we've had from friends, families and the team of doctors they put on her, from the nurses to the support of the Twins ... I've seen a lot of positive energy flow to her, and really help her."
Although Marquis didn't want to divulge many details about the accident, he made it clear that it was serious.
"Ultimately, there was just a lot of internal bleeding, that luckily enough, my wife and father-in-law were able to get her to the hospital in time, and like I said, I had an unbelievable team of doctors there to save my daughter's life,'' he said.
Marquis, who signed with the Twins as a free agent during the offseason, tried to stay in shape while he was away from camp. He threw two simulated games against local amateurs while in New York, one consisting of 78 pitches and another of 93 pitches. He said he tried to get other workouts in between trips to the hospital.
The Twins plan to be careful with Marquis, who was unable to do many drills and didn't face other professional hitters. On Tuesday, Marquis threw on a back field to Twins minor leaguers as General Manager Terry Ryan, manager Ron Gardenhire and other club officials looked on.
"He came back in good shape," Ryan said. "It was encouraging. He threw 54 pitches; the majority were strikes. He used all his stuff. Now we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
There's no chance he'll be able to pitch for the Twins right away. Fortunately for the team, they don't need a fifth starter until April 15 against Texas. Righthanders Carl Pavano, Liam Hendriks and Nick Blackburn and lefthander Francisco Liriano will make up the rotation until then. Righthander Scott Baker will open the season on the disabled list because of a sore elbow, but is not expected to be out for long.
Gardenhire said it appeared Marquis "really wanted to pitch nine innings today, and I think a lot of that was on adrenaline."
The Twins will break camp after Wednesday's exhibition against Class A Fort Myers, then head to Baltimore to open the season Friday. Marquis could be sent to the minors for a start or two.
Coincidentally, the Twins need a fifth starter right before they open a four-game series in New York on April 16, which Marquis is eyeing as four days to be with his daughter.
As he stood and talked with reporters Tuesday, Marquis still wore the wristband the hospital fitted him with when he first went to see his daughter.
"Obviously I know in a big-league game, I'd have to take it off," he said, "but I'm going to try to keep it on until my daughter gets out of the hospital."
|Tennessee||12/18/14 7:25 PM|
|Philadelphia||12/20/14 3:30 PM|
|San Diego||12/20/14 7:25 PM|
|Minnesota||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Baltimore||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Green Bay||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|New England||12/21/14 12:00 PM|
|NY Giants||12/21/14 3:05 PM|
|Buffalo||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/21/14 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/21/14 7:30 PM|
|Denver||12/22/14 7:30 PM|
|Dallas||35||2nd Qtr 8:30|
|Utah||33||2nd Qtr 9:42|
|Orlando||36||2nd Qtr 8:25|
|Brooklyn||3||1st Qtr 10:53|
|Ottawa||1||2nd Prd 13:58|
|Boston||0||1st Prd 18:16|
|James Madison||30||2nd Half 20:00|
|SIU Edwardsville||32||2nd Half 16:53|
|St Francis-PA||45||2nd Half 12:41|
|North Florida||29||2nd Half|
|Catawba||43||2nd Half 15:54|
|Ferrum||23||2nd Half 16:33|
|Hampton||31||2nd Half 16:43|
|Gardner-Webb||47||2nd Half 16:22|
|Arkansas State||46||2nd Half 13:20|
|Tennessee||36||2nd Half 14:17|
|NC A&T||34||2nd Half 14:57|
|Manhattan||25||2nd Half 14:55|
|Robert Morris||31||2nd Half 16:30|
|Char Southern||30||2nd Half 15:35|
|Kennesaw St||46||1st Half 0:33|
|Barber-Scotia||24||2nd Half 17:03|
|Detroit||27||1st Half 0:08|
|Liberty||20||1st Half 3:59|
|TX A&M-CC||2||1st Half 17:41|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||4||1st Half 15:30|
|UT Martin||3||1st Half 15:18|
|Milligan||12||1st Half 15:20|
|Abilene Christian||5||1st Half 16:00|
|USC Upstate||13||1st Half 14:36|
|Alcorn State||7||1st Half 16:18|
|Central Mich||4||1st Half 16:00|
|Georgia State||9||1st Half 15:03|
|TX-Pan American||6||1st Half 15:15|
|Ill-Chicago||3||1st Half 16:30|
|Texas State||6||1st Half 13:55|
|Stephen F Austin||11|
|SC State||4||1st Half 16:29|
|Missouri State||7||1st Half 13:32|
|Chicago State||8||1st Half 16:55|
|Morehead State||0||1st Half 17:39|
|Northern Colorado||6||1st Half 15:53|
|New Mexico St||8:00 PM|
|San Diego St||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Mich||8:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||8:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||8:00 PM|
|Central Arkansas||9:00 PM|
|Grambling St||10:00 PM|
|Nevada||12/20/14 10:00 AM|
|Utah State||12/20/14 1:20 PM|
|(23) Utah||12/20/14 2:30 PM|
|Western Mich||12/20/14 4:45 PM|
|South Alabama||12/20/14 8:15 PM|
|BYU||12/22/14 1:00 PM|
|Marshall||12/23/14 5:00 PM|
|Navy||12/23/14 8:30 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Central Mich||12/24/14 11:00 AM|
|Fresno State||12/24/14 7:00 PM|
|(21) Miss State||66||FINAL|
|Florida A&M||56||2nd Half 1:58|
|Oklahoma||53||2nd Half 7:39|
|Savannah State||46||2nd Half 4:15|
|Northern Colorado||12||2nd Half 20:00|
|Youngstown St||24||2nd Half 15:54|
|Siena||52||2nd Half 8:59|
|Vermont||47||2nd Half 10:13|
|(1) South Carolina||50||2nd Half 10:50|
|Fla Gulf Coast||56||2nd Half 14:33|
|Texas Southern||53||2nd Half 16:49|
|Northwestern||57||2nd Half 15:08|
|NC A&T||47||2nd Half 16:33|
|NC Central||32||2nd Half 14:27|
|Drexel||33||2nd Half 13:00|
|Cincinnati||34||2nd Half 15:11|
|Alabama State||25||2nd Half 20:00|
|Morehead St||38||2nd Half|
|Arkansas State||30||2nd Half|
|American Univ||37||2nd Half 13:54|
|UNC Greensboro||49||2nd Half 12:07|
|Arkansas-Monticello||25||1st Half 0:21|
|Prairie View||25||1st Half 4:17|
|Sam Houston St||16|
|McNeese State||6||1st Half 14:46|
|Yale||16||1st Half 14:04|
|Oakland||4||1st Half 16:58|
|Eastern Kentucky||6||1st Half 17:09|
|SIU-Edwardsville||8||1st Half 14:52|
|McMurry||0||1st Half 16:00|
|North Texas||9:00 PM|