3:50pm: Márquez spoke to reporters about his situation today, including Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. He says that he thinks he will be out up to six weeks, though that seems to still be up in the air. Tommy John surgery is ruled out for now but he says he’s worried he’ll need it eventually. Further testing is still to come as he’ll see another doctor on Monday.
2:20pm: The Rockies announced that right-hander Germán Márquez has been placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to April 27, due to right elbow inflammation. Fellow righty Connor Seabold has been recalled in a corresponding move.
It’s been a frustrating season for Marquez, who made three starts before going on the injured list with a forearm strain. It seemed as though he avoided a significant absence when he returned this week and took the ball for Wednesday’s game. Unfortunately, he was removed after calling the trainers to the mound and revealed after the game that he had soreness in his triceps. He was set to get an MRI in Denver yesterday and it seems there’s enough concern to put him on the shelf for at least a couple weeks.
It’s still not known exactly how much time he’s expected to miss, but it’s a blow to the Colorado rotation nonetheless. Márquez is the club’s best starting pitcher, having a 4.41 ERA through 176 appearances. Since he plays his home games at Coors Field, ERA estimators tend to agree that he deserves better, with his career FIP at 4.02 and his SIERA at 3.96. He has a 22.9% strikeout rate, 7% walk rate and 48.5% ground ball rate.
Any club would prefer to avoid losing its best starter, of course, but the Rockies will be especially challenged since their rotation hasn’t been a strong suit for them. Kyle Freeland, Noah Davis, Austin Gomber and Ryan Feltner are the remaining four in the club’s rotation, with Seabold now potentially joining them or perhaps serving a long relief role of the bullpen. He has 12 major league appearances under his belt but with an 8.81 ERA thus far.
Márquez is in the final guaranteed season of the extension he signed with the Rockies back in 2019. The club will have a $13.5MM decision to make on him at the end of the campaign, as they can trigger a $16MM option for 2024 or take a $2.5MM buyout. If his injury ends up being minor, then it should be a pretty easy call to keep him around for one more year at that price, but a more significant ailment could perhaps make it a bit trickier.