Notebook: Jason Marquis temporarily optioned to Double-A New Britain
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Minnesota Twins made two procedural moves on Wednesday in order to finalize a 25-man roster by the 4 p.m. central deadline.
Scott Baker was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 27, and Jason Marquis was optioned to Double-A New Britain. He will make his first start on Saturday with a pitch count around 75.
Marquis, a 13-year major league veteran, still had one minor league option remaining. He was optioned as a rookie with the Braves in 2000, and again in 2003 at age 24. Because Marquis has been in the major leagues for longer than five years, the Twins needed him to sign off on the move.
The Twins did take on some risk with this move. Because Marquis' major league debut came more than three years ago, procedure dictated that he pass through optional waivers. Optional waivers are revocable, so there was no real risk in losing Marquis to another organization, but passing him through all 29 other teams was a hurdle that needed to be cleared.
It's certainly a unique situation.
"Yes it is," general manager Terry Ryan said. "I'm thinking this might be one of those firsts."
New Britain is about two hours from Marquis' home, which means he'll have a chance to visit his 7-year-old daughter who remains hospitalized. The Twins also play at Yankee Stadium in mid-April.
"Being in new Britain allows myself to pitch and see my daughter at the same time," Marquis said. "And if I did make two starts, we're in New York playing the Yankees. So it gives me an extra five, six days in New York. ... I'm grateful for them allowing me to make this a lot easier on myself and my family."
Physically, Marquis felt fine after throwing 54 pitches in a minor league game on Tuesday.
"He knows he needs some time," Ryan said. "He's not quite ready. He needs to stretch out, and he needs to build up his arm strength, he needs to pitch against professional competition. Some of the stuff he did back home was good. Yesterday was good. But that was our extended (spring team). We need to get him against some competition too.
"Nobody wants to go out and embarrass themselves. He wants to be ready. When the time comes, he's going to want to be able to compete. And he knows I can't afford ... This manager can't afford... We can't afford to give games away. We've got to have somebody that will give us a chance. He'll do that once he gets stretched out a little bit."
Marquis will likely make two minor league starts.
Baker, in his attempt to ramp up from elbow tendonitis, will start in the home opener on Thursday for Single-A Fort Myers. Baker is also likely to make at least two minor league starts.
Along with the Baker and Marquis roster moves, the Twins also filled their last two 40-man roster slots by officially adding right-hander Jared Burton and infielder Sean Burroughs.
Twins 8, Fort Myers Miracle 7
• Nick Blackburn went five innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five.
• Playing both shortstop and left field, Trevor Plouffe went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
• Chris Parmelee went 1-for-2 with a solo home run and a walk.
10: Justin Morneau's hit streak to end spring training.
• Alexi Casilla (inflammation behind right knee) played second base in the Twins' final spring game on Wednesday. He is expected to start in Friday's season opener as well.
• Sean Burroughs (lower back strain) played first base late in Wednesday's game and collected two hits, including a double. He is expected to make it to Baltimore, barring any setbacks.
Thursday: Off day
Friday: @ Orioles, 2:05 p.m. RHP Carl Pavano (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 0.00)