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Why the Yankees should pass on German Marquez

With the New York Yankees sweeping the Detroit Tigers, it’s starting to look like the team is finding their groove. Currently, they sit at .500 and the team has received strong starts recently from their starters not named Gerrit Cole. The Yankees pitching rotation ranks among the best in baseball and hopefully will continue to be a strong unit.

Despite the success of the staff, there is still a belief that the Yankees will look to add another starting pitcher this season. Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon are both working their ways back from injury. Jordan Montgomery has only thrown 102 innings since the start of 2018 and Domingo German missed last season due to his suspension. While the team does have young options in Michael King and Deivi Garcia, they could look for a more veteran pitcher. One name that has frequently been mentioned on social media is Colorado Rockies hurler German Marquez. However, despite his high potential, the Yankees would be wise to look elsewhere.

Why people are interested Marquez

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In 2018, Marquez was one of the top young pitchers in baseball. In 196 innings, Marquez went 14-11 with a 3.77 ERA. 2020 he went 4-6 with a 3.75 ERA. Over the two seasons, he struck out 303 batters in 277.2 innings while walking only 82. With Colorado struggling, there is a belief they would be interested in cutting Marquez’s salary. The Rockies do have three years of control left at an average salary of $14 million.

Why the Yankees should pass

The 2021 season has been a bit of a mixed bag for Marquez. He is 1-2 on the year with an ERA of 4.13. Despite playing his home games in the extremely hitter-friendly Colorado, Marquez has actually been significantly worse on the road where his ERA is 6.52. The first number that scares me are the 19 walks he has surrendered this year. Over 255 innings in 2019 and 2020, Marquez only allowed 60 total walks. If Marquez keeps his 5.23 walks per 9 innings, he would have surrendered just more than 148 walks.

As a result, Marquez has continued to see his SIERA move in the wrong direction. SIERA looks to measure ERA when accounting for things that aren’t in a pitcher’s control. The goal of the metric is to eliminate elements such as Coor’s Field when evaluating a pitcher like Marquez. Furthermore, SIERA also looks at the types of batted balls the pitcher is letting up. As we have seen with Stanton and Judge, sometimes a ball that is rocketed off the bat goes directly at a fielder. While this would help a pitcher’s standard ERA, it hurts his SIERA as usually a ball hit that hard will result in a hit.

For the year, Marquez has a SIERA of 4.54 which is rated as “poor” by the stat experts at Fangraphs. The combination of a pitcher that is both walking more batters and allowing hard-hit balls is something the Yankees should avoid.