Mets Sign Jay Marshall

jay-marshallWhen I heard the Mets picked up a lefthanded pitcher named Marshall for the bullpen, I was kind of hoping his first name was Sean.

Instead, it is Jay.

Jay Marshall was claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics and added to the 40-man roster (which now comprises 39 players). Whether he’ll be the “second LOOGY” to Pedro Feliciano remains to be seen.

Marshall has had success at every level of the minors, including the hitter-happy PCL, but the 26-year-old has yet to translate that to MLB. He appeared in 51 games for Oakland in 2007, posting an unsightly 6.43 ERA and 1.71 WHIP — striking out only 18 and walking 22 in 42 innings. He spent all of 2008 in the minors and pitched in 10 games last year — losing 2 of them and serving up a 14.73 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 7 IP.

His horrible MLB numbers don’t necessarily mean he’ll stink it up with the Mets. Consider that Feliciano was underwhelming in the bigs at a similar age.

Marshall throws “laredo style” as Keith Hernandez might describe — somewhere between sidearm and submarine, similar to Sean Green’s arm angle (except from the opposite side). His tall and gangly frame (6’5″, 200 lbs.) combined with his unusual and deceptive delivery could wreak havoc on NL hitters for at least a few months (see: the first half of Joe Smith’s rookie season). Considering that he’ll be a “one-out guy”, he could leverage the lack of exposure factor well into the summer. Regardless, he’ll need to throw strikes and get batters to hit the ball on the ground — something he’s had trouble accomplishing against big-league hitters. In the past he has relied too much on an often flat, sideways-moving slider in attempting to get swings and misses rather than pounding the bottom of the strike zone with his sinker.

Does the pickup of Marshall mean the Mets won’t sign someone with proven MLB experience, such as Joe Beimel? It shouldn’t, but you never know what the Mets’ brass is thinking.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 January 11, 2010 at 10:43 am
    Speaking of Lefty Relievers, did you see that Neal Cotts signed a minor league deal w/the Pirates?

    Not that he’s a safe-bet to come back this year, after TJ Surgery — but the Buccos? On a minor league contract?

    Maybe that’s the first sign that he either:

    A) Won’t meet expectations; or
    B) Just flat out won’t be back at all.

    He was on my radar, as a potential pick-up….and from the reports, would be “ready” around the time where we’ll have to start assessing the Feliciano situation (contract extension, whether or not his arm’s falling off by then).

    Maybe Marshall will be an under the wire pick-up….hopefully.

  2. joejanish January 12, 2010 at 12:54 am
    I totally missed the Cotts signing!

    Interesting signing by the Bucs — perhaps they believe they’ll be in the thick of it down the stretch and can use a LOOGY in August/September? Or do they think they’ll be able to flip him at that late a date to a desperate contender? Because if he proves to be healthy, Cotts is sure to fetch a nice sum on the open market next winter — meaning Pittsburgh loses him. Could they be looking at him for 2011?