Edinson Volquez

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Edinson Volquez
Edinson Volquez 01.jpg
Volquez in 2012 with the Padres
Pittsburgh Pirates – No. 36
Starting pitcher
Born: (1983-07-03) July 3, 1983 (age 31)
Barahona, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 30, 2005 for the Texas Rangers
Career statistics
(through September 9, 2014)
Win–loss record 64–59
Earned run average 4.52
Strikeouts 914
WHIP 1.46
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Edinson Volquez [VOL-kez] (born July 3, 1983), is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. He bats and throws right-handed.

Volquez signed with the Rangers in 2001 under the name of Julio Reyes. He went by Edison Volquez after 2003, before adding an n to his first name in 2007.

Early life[edit]

Volquez grew up in the Dominican Republic and started playing baseball when he was 9 or 10 with the support of his parents. "It was good for me because my mom and dad always took care of me... The only thing I did was go to school and play baseball." [1]

Professional career[edit]

Texas Rangers[edit]

Volquez was signed as an amateur free agent by the Texas Rangers in the Dominican Republic in 2001. Together with John Danks and Thomas Diamond, Volquez was one third of the "DVD" trio of Rangers pitching prospects.[2][3]

After spending four years in the Rangers' minor league system, Volquez made his major league debut on August 30, 2005 in a start against the Chicago White Sox. He lost all three major league games he started that season, as well as one of the three games in which he appeared as a reliever, and posted a 14.21 ERA. He spent the first five months of the 2006 season at Triple-A Oklahoma until he was recalled to the majors in September. This time, he fared better, winning one of his eight starts and posting a 7.29 ERA.

The Rangers were dissatisfied with the results shown by one of their top pitching prospects, so in 2007 they tried an unconventional tactic. Volquez was demoted to the Rangers' A-league affiliate, the Bakersfield Blaze, to work on his control. As Volquez progressed, he was slowly promoted up through the minor league system until he reached the big leagues in September. This tactic had been used by Mark Connor, the Rangers' pitching coach, once before. Volquez showed much improvement in his big league performance that season, posting a 2-1 record and 4.50 ERA in six starts. Volquez later said about the time in the minors, "At the time, I didn't understand, because if I play in the Big Leagues, why do I have to go all the way back to Single-A?... It made me better. It made me a better person."[1]

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

On December 21, 2007, the Rangers traded Volquez to the Cincinnati Reds, along with Daniel Ray Herrera, in a deal for Josh Hamilton. Volquez made his Reds' debut on April 6, 2008 in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati. In 5⅓ innings of work, he allowed only five hits, one earned run and two walks while striking out eight batters in an 8–2 victory.

Volquez started 2008 with a 7–1 record and a 1.33 ERA in nine starts, and allowed no more than one earned run in all but one of these starts (in which he allowed two). He became the only Reds pitcher to accomplish this since 1912. On May 18, 2008, Volquez participated in a pitching matchup with the Cleveland Indians' Cliff Lee, who at that point led the American League with an ERA of 0.67. It was the third time in MLB history that the ERA leaders of each league had faced each other. Volquez won the contest by a score of 6–4, improving to 7–1. Lee's loss, his first of the season, left him with a 6–1 record.

Volquez in 2008 with the Reds

Volquez was selected to represent the National League in the 2008 MLB All-Star Game.[4] By the All-Star Break, Volquez had an 12–3 record with a 2.29 ERA and 126 strikeouts. Volquez finished the season with a 17–6 record and an earned run average of 3.21, 8th-best in the National League.[5] Volquez threw changeups 31.9% of the time in 2008, more than any other starter.[6]

After the season, the Baseball Writers' Association of America put Volquez on the ballot for National League Rookie of the Year Award voting, an award for which he was not eligible. He subsequently received three second place votes for the award, which went to Geovany Soto.[7]

Volquez did not follow up his 2008 All-Star campaign with the same success. In 2009 with Cincinnati, Volquez posted a 4–2 record with a 4.35 ERA through June 1. He was placed on the 15-day DL with elbow pain on June 2, and then eventually moved to the 60-day DL in preparation for Tommy John surgery, which ended his season.[8]

On April 20, 2010, he received a 50 game suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs.[9] Volquez made his 2010 debut with the Reds on July 17, 2010 vs the Colorado Rockies with an 8-1 win. Volquez held the Rockies to one earned run and three hits in six innings with 9 strikeouts and 2 base on balls. However, his next several starts were unimpressive, and for the second time in his career, he was demoted straight to single-A (the Dayton Dragons). He was recalled on September 7 and finished the season with a 4-3 record and 4.31 ERA over 62.2 innings. He started Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies and lost, allowing four earned over 1.2 innings with Roy Halladay throwing a no hitter.[10]

He was the Reds’ Opening Day starter in 2011 and finished the season 5-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 20 starts for Cincinnati. He also spent time in the minor leagues, going 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA for Triple-A Louisville.[11]

San Diego Padres[edit]

On December 17, 2011, Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger were traded by the Reds to the San Diego Padres for Mat Latos.[12] Volquez was the Padres' Opening Day starter for the 2012 season, losing 5–3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.[13] Volquez, along with Clayton Richard, was a mainstay of the Padres 2012 rotation, making 32 starts and pitching 182 23 innings. His highlight game of the season came on July 19 when he pitched a one-hit shutout at home against the Houston Astros.[14] Volquez finished the season 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA. He collected 174 strikeouts, but issued a league-leading 105 walks.

Volquez was again the Padres' Opening Day starter in 2013. On June 2, Volquez hit his first career home run, a 3-run homer off Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ramon Ortiz.[15] Despite his home run, the Padres lost the game 7-4. The Padres designated Volquez for assignment on August 24, a day after he gave up six runs while only recording two outs in a start against the Chicago Cubs.[16] At the time, Volquez led the NL with 95 earned runs. He was released three days later.[17] In 27 starts for the Padres in 2013, Volquez went 9-10 and had a 6.01 ERA.

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

On August 30, 2013, Volquez signed an agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a Major League contract.[18][19] Volquez appeared for the Dodgers that night, pitching one scoreless inning in relief against the his former team, the Padres. He joined the Dodgers rotation soon after and made 5 starts in September for them. He was 0-2 with a 4.18 ERA for the Dodgers in 2013.

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

After the 2013 season, Volquez signed a one-year deal worth $5 million with the Pittsburgh Pirates.[20]

International career[edit]

Volquez pitched in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He took the loss in the opening game for the Dominican Republic against the Netherlands, giving up three runs (unearned), two hits, two walks and three strikeouts in three innings pitched.[21]

Volquez again pitched for the eventual champion Dominican Republic in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, starting the first game in each of the three tournament rounds. He allowed 5 runs in 10 13 innings and picked up the win in the semi-final game against the Netherlands.[22]

Scouting report[edit]

Volquez throws 4 pitches, a low to mid 90's fastball, a two-seam fastball that clocks also in the low 90's, a mid 80's changeup and a mid 70's curveball. Throughout his career, Volquez has struggled with command of his pitches.

Personal life[edit]

Volquez still makes a home in the Dominican Republic, where he spends four months during the off-season.[1]

Name issues[edit]

When he was signed by the Rangers in 2001 at age 17, he went by the name Julio Reyes but his name was revealed to be Edison Volquez after an immigration crackdown in 2003. In 2007, he asked the Rangers to add an "n" to his name after checking his birth certificate to find he was born Edinson.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Heilbrunn, Sharon Annie (July 28, 2012). "10 questions with Edinson Volquez". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  2. ^ "Top Ten Prospects: Texas Rangers". Baseballamerica.com. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ Callis, Jim (July 5, 2005). "Diamond the star of Rangers' DVD". ESPN.com. 
  4. ^ "Volquez's first All-Star Game memorable | reds.com: News". Cincinnati.reds.mlb.com. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Edinson Volquez statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved November 11, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2008 » Pitchers » Pitch Type Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. January 3, 1990. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  7. ^ Singer, Tom (November 10, 2008). "Longoria, Soto are Rookies of the Year". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved November 11, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Volquez faces 12 months of rehab". ESPN.com. August 3, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  9. ^ Heyman, Jon (April 20, 2010). "Cincinnati Reds' Edinson Volquez fails test, gets suspended". CNN. Retrieved April 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Edinson Volquez Stats, Video Highlights, Photos, Bio | pirates.com: Team". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  11. ^ Center, Bill (December 17, 2011). "Latos traded to Reds for Volquez, 3 top prospects". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on December 17, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Reds acquire Latos in five-player deal". Fox Sports. December 17, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Matt Kemp homers as Dodgers top Padres in opener". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 5, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012. "Volquez (0-1), Cincinnati's opening-day starter a year ago, struck out five through three scoreless innings and singled off Kershaw in the third for the Padres' first hit." 
  14. ^ Center, Bill (July 19, 2012). "Volquez blanks Astros 1-0 on one hit". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  15. ^ Wilson, Bernie (June 3, 2013). "Volquez hits 3-run homer in Padres' loss". AP.org. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  16. ^ Cassavell, AJ (August 24, 2013). "Padres designate struggling righty Volquez". MLB.com. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  17. ^ Brock, Corey (August 27, 2013). "Padres release struggling Volquez". MLB.com. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  18. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (August 28, 2013). "Dodgers reach agreement with pitcher Edinson Volquez". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  19. ^ Shaikin, Bill (August 30, 2013). "Dodgers officially add Edinson Volquez and his 6.01 ERA". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates' one-year contracts with Clint Barmes, Edinson Volquez official | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Netherlands plays spoiler, puts short-handed Dominicans one loss from ouster". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  22. ^ Center, Bill (March 22, 2013). "Volquez likens WBC victory to winning World Series". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Volquez earning Little Pedro nickname on the mound". Sports.espn.go.com. May 13, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 

External links[edit]