Pelicans’ first pitcher still sticking in major leagues

pel-marquis2The pitcher who started the first game in Myrtle Beach Pelicans history is still plugging along in Major League Baseball 15 years later.

The Philadelphia Phillies signed veteran Jason Marquis to a minor league contract on Monday and will send the right-hander to extended spring training as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. He underwent the the ligament replacement procedure last summer.

If the 35-year-old Marquis returns to the big leagues, he is seen as a pitcher who could add depth to the bullpen or possibly fill in as a starter for the Phillies.

Marquis started 20 games for the San Diego Padres last year and went 9-5 with a 4.05 earned run average. He broke into the major leagues with the Atlanta Braves in 2000.

One year earlier, Marquis was the ace of the Pelicans’ staff that went on to lead Myrtle Beach to the Carolina League co-championship. He pitched a shutout in his Pelicans debut in an 8-0 victory over the Frederick Keys in April of 1999. He was the second Pelican to make it to the majors behind Rafael Furcal.

Career stops have also included the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Marquis’ lifetime record is 121-114 with a 4.58 ERA. He won 15 games twice in a season, with the Cardinals in 2004 and the Rockies in 2009.

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