D-Train to Pitch for Volquez?


Cincinnati Reds, Dusty Baker, Alex Apple

Time to give Volquez the ball in Louisville (Image: redreporter)

“Everybody has to step up,” Edinson Volquez said after another less than effective disappointing and unsuccessful start, “start to score some runs. In the last five games, how many runs have we scored? Like 13? That’s not the way we were playing last year. We’re better than that.”

That says it all for Edinson Volquez.

Volquez is the most talented pitcher on the Reds staff sans Aroldis Chapman. He has shown at times this year how he won 19 games in 2008, and he has also shown perpetual wildness.

So far Volquez this season has been like the most talented kid that we all played with in little league who has awesome at times but did not work hard and did not care enough to realize his potential.

Don’t blame Bryan Price. Don’t blame Dusty Baker. Don’t blame the catchers. Blame one person….Edinson Volquez.

At this point, Edinson Volquez’s future in the Reds rotation comes down to one person, and that is him. If he wants to help the club win and if he wants to sign the long term deal that he refused to sign this offseason, then he must take ownership of his successes and failures.

He has had the same problem all season. Wildness in the first two innings puts him behind the eight ball regardless of how well he pitches in innings 3-6. He has said that his arm is too live, and he has too much gas in the tank. Well now it is up to Edinson to settle himself down, so that he can locate his changeup and fastball, or else he cannot and will not be an effective starter at the major league level.

Reds, Edinson Volquez

Willis' performance at Louisville warrants a call to the show (Image:casualfan.org)

Volquez’ comments after the game today made it obvious that Volquez is a pitcher in denial. He is not taking ownership of his own shortcomings, and he is taking the blame off of himself and putting it on an offense that gave him a 1-0 lead after the very first inning.

I have news for Edinson Volquez…The Reds offense that he blamed today is second in the Major Leagues in runs scored. They are second in the Major Leagues in home runs. They are third in the national league in average and on-base percentage, and they are third in the Major Leagues in RBI.

Needless to say…the Reds offense is fine. And so are the Reds other four starters.

Homer Bailey looks like the ace that everyone thought he could be. Johnny Cueto is so far and away past Edinson Volquez now that Volquez ought to be nauseous. Travis Wood is a coming into his own, and Bronson Arroyo is perhaps one of the most underrated pitchers in the Major Leagues.

So what is next for the pitcher in denial that is letting down the Reds time after time?

Dusty Baker admitted that the Reds are “mulling over” Edinson Volquez’s future in the rotation. But Volquez has now ostracized himself from his teammates, and is not understanding his own shortcomings.

Since Volquez has options left, I think the Reds will choose to option him to AAA Louisville. Maybe once he is in Louisville while the rest of his teammates continue in the Major Leagues that they were actually not the ones to blame for his 18.00 ERA in the first inning this season.

John Fay said earlier today on Twitter that if Edinson Volquez is sent down, he would expect Sam LeCure to take his start.

I disagree with Fayman on here. Sam LeCure has not given up a run in 7 relief outings since making his last start on April 27 vs. the Brewers. So why mess with a good thing?

Despite the Reds recent 5 game losing streak, Sam LeCure is the last player that could be blamed. He has been marvelous and versatile in his bullpen role. So why mess with someone so hot and effective in their current role?

Some other Reds fans on Twitter have said that Volquez should be sent down while Mike Leake is brought back from Louisville. Well, Leake gave up 5 earned runs in his first start at Louisville, and he lasted just 5.1 innings.

Meanwhile Dontrelle Willis continues to pitch well at Louisville. Willis is 3-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 8 starts this season. He has 37 strikeouts to 14 walks. He has not walked more than 3 batters in a start all season.

He also pitched yesterday, just one day before Volquez’ start today, so Willis could come to the Reds on 6 days rest to fill Edinson Volquez’s spot in the rotation if Volquez is sent down.

It makes sense. It is practical, and the Reds did not sign Dontrelle Willis to pitch at AAA. They signed him with the hopes that he could resurrect his career, get his control to be consistent, and help the Reds on the major league level some time down the road.

You can follow Alex Apple on Twitter @AlexAppleDFW

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  • beeker

    I was already frustrated with Volquez, but after reading that quote, I taste bile when I say his name. Blaming an offense that has performed well enough to take him off the hook for the loss more than once this year is a juvenile reaction from a player who can’t be honest with himself about his own shortcomings.

    And without honesty, there will not be change. Ask Homer Bailey. For a long time Bailey tried the same solution Volquez tries for any struggle: throw harder. If they are hitting, throw harder. If I’m missing the zone, throw harder. If I’m pissed about the calls, throw harder. And he met the same result Volquez is: wildness and walks.

    If it were up to me, I’d let Volquez know that he was going to Louisville and would stay there until he could manage at least 5 consecutive starts with no more than 2 walks. if he can’t get that done, let him go because there are plenty enough guys behind him without his crappy attitude.

  • http://wix.com/applea/alexapple Alex Apple

    I agree. They need to let Volquez know exactly what is expected of him if he is sent down. I would guess that the number would be more like 3-4 starts with no more than 3 free passes.
    I like the Homer Bailey comparison. Bailey is now showing tremendous maturity on the mound.
    However, I wouldn’t say that Volquez has a crappy attitude. He is well liked on the team, besides those comments yesterday obviously…but he has a frivolous attitude. I think he simply needs to be more serious and realize he is responsible for his own success and failures

  • http://curtssportsthoughts.blogspot.com/ CurtOU

    I’m sure his frustration is seeing his money go down the drain. He probably regrets not taking that money now that was on the table. I was always a Volquez backer, I really don’t care about his comments, but I care that he clearly can’t get it done right now. I have alerted the appropriate people and have paid the applicable exit tax, I am officially off of the Edinson Volquez bandwagon. I do however reserve the right to get back on, and I really hope I’ll be there again.

    Curt