Washington Nationals right-handed veteran Jason Marquis continued his solid spring on Monday, pitching five good innings against the Detroit Tigers in an eventual 4-2 loss in windy conditions at Space Coast Stadium.
Marquis gave up his first earned run of the spring, but was otherwise effective, allowing just three hits and two walks in the five innings. Seven of his fifteen outs came on the ground and he surrendered just two fly ball outs.
The Nationals certainly haven't already "given up" on this season, considering it hasn't even started yet, but a healthy -- and effective -- Jason Marquis could be an attractive trading chip down the road if he can perform up to his career norms this season, and the timing could be perfect at the deadline to open a spot up for a younger pitcher ready to be promoted.
Doug Slaten, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen all pitched scoreless innings of relief, with a single against Slaten the only baserunner against the trio. They struck out four combined.
Ian Desmond. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI and stole a base.
Ryan Zimmerman. Didn't do anything at the plate, but started two double plays from third base.
Jayson Werth continues to struggle at the plate. He went 0-for-4 and stranded four base runners.
Todd Coffey was beat around in his inning of work. He gave up three earned on three hits, including Victor Martinez' first home run of the spring.
Nyjer Morgan had a decent day at the plate (2-for-4, stolen base) but had another misadventure in the outfield, letting a wind-blown pop fly fall out of his glove for a double, leading to the Martinez home run.
Morgan is in an outright battle with at least three players for the centerfield job, and his outfield defense needs to be his calling card. He simply cannot allow mental slip-ups like this, or he could be looking for work really soon.