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10/03/06 9:58 PM ET

Mailbag: What is Marquis' role?

Rich Draper answers fans' questions about the NLDS

I have been wondering, and talking to my dad, about what Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is going to do with Jason Marquis. My dad says that they shouldn't even have him in the bullpen because the way he's been pitching, but to keep him as a possible pinch-hitter since he is one of the better, if not the best, hitting pitcher on our team.
-- Jon Wills

Marquis, who struggled mightily in the second half, was included on the National League Division Series roster, while rookie righty Anthony Reyes was left off. According to La Russa, the reasoning was that the club is more comfortable with Marquis as a relief pitcher.

"I just think he has the ability to throw every day," said La Russa. "He has experience, playoff experience, as a reliever a few years ago. But he hasn't done it much. So is he going to get the first call over some of those other guys? Probably not. But I think the way the games are played, there are several ways you could use him."

Padres manager Bruce Bochy claims Jake Peavy had only some flaky skin. Peavy was injured and he has been overused and injured all year long. Was Peavy injured? Why isn't Chris Young starting two games in the NLDS?
-- Padres fan

There's nothing wrong with Peavy. He was throwing 93 mph and wasn't injured. There can't always be an excuse if a pitcher doesn't throw well in a playoff game. Peavy had shoulder problems earlier but he's healthy now -- period.

Why do you even put Mark Bellhorn on the NLDS roster? He hit .198. And then to use him in a key situation with the bases loaded and one out? This is not a second guess. Everyone knew Bellhorn would strike out. This is what happens when you keep a bad player on the roster all season without looking for a replacement right-handed pinch-hitter.
-- Dissatisfied San Diego fan

Bellhorn is on the roster because of his playoff experience with the Red Sox two years ago, he's a switch-hitter who can play multiple positions and he was the choice over Manny Alexander.

Be a part of the NLDS mailbag

Who's going to win this series? Who's the best player? Why'd the manager make that move? If game stories and features aren't enough for you and you want more, e-mail MLB.com's Rich Draper at rich.draper@mlb.com. After the game, before it, even while the action is going on. Send in your question (make sure the subject line contains NLDS Mailbag), and Draper will answer selected queries in a regular mailbag right here on MLB.com.

I wanted to tell the Padres how much they mean to me: I'm pushing here on my end for you to do your best. Today's game was a letdown, especially after our last series against the Cards, but I know you can do what you've set out to do.

And more selfishly, I want you do to it because of how much better those long winter months until Spring Training will be looking back with no regrets. Even with no hopes of attending a home game before May, I will be present in whatever way I can these next few games, as it is essential that I root, root, root for the home team.

So good luck, guys, go out there, have some fun, and play some baseball.
-- Marilyn C.

Marilyn, you're a treasure for the Padres. All teams should have fans like you.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.