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Jason Marquis Leaves Rehab Start Healthy

Jason Marquis threw 54 pitches in 3 2/3 innings with 36 strikes in a rehab start with Class A Potomac Tuesday. He did not appear the pitcher that Nationals invested $15 million in during the offseason -- Marquis allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out three, walking one and hitting a batter -- but he apparently left the game healthy.
Marquis was not made available for comment, but Director of Player Development Doug Harris, who was present, said Marquis did not have any health issues after the game.
"We got him through the outing, no issues," Harris said. "He accomplished his 50 pitches and felt good afterward. That's the biggest thing we accomplished."
Marquis was 0-3 with a 20.52 ERA in three starts, a groundball pitcher failing to keep the ball on the ground. Those issues peaked on April 18, when Marquis allowed seven runs without registering a single out.
He went on the 15-day disabled list on April 19 because of bone chips in his right elbow, which helped explain the slow start. Tuesday marked his return to a game-like situation, and Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman said Marquis could return to the major league club after two rehab starts.
Catcher Derek Norris, one of the Nationals' top prospects, said Marquis's sinker was strong and the only issue was occasionally keeping the ball up because his arm started to drag.
"There's nothing really I can say that Pudge can't say that would be better," Norris said when discussing the mound visits, referring to Washington catcher Iván Rodríguez. Norris said Marquis was still able to make the ball sink and cut.
"Guys down here, velocity is minor to what's up there," Norris said. "Everybody's got velocity. It's why they get drafted. But it's the way the ball moves. He can sink it, he can cut it, and he does everything with it that can make the ball dance, and that's what makes him effective."
Harris was less focused on the results than the way Marquis felt. Harris said Marquis is still set for sidework on Thursday and if there are no problems, will have another rehab start at a site to be determined.
"The quality of his stuff is going to come with repetition," Harris said. "To think it's going to happen today, it's just not going to happen that way. We wanted to get him through 50 pitches and get him off the mound in a place where he feels good and he's building his arm. We accomplished that today."