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OnBaseMachine
03-25-2008, 08:40 PM
No. 5 spot looking good for Volquez
Right-hander distancing himself from rest of contenders
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Reds rotation hasn't been formally announced, so pitcher Edinson Volquez wasn't ready to relax just yet.

"I don't know yet, but I hope so," Volquez said Tuesday when asked if he thought he made it. "They don't tell anybody. You have to wait. I want to make sure."

Volquez shouldn't have to fret too much, even if manager Dusty Baker plays it close to the vest. The 24-year-old Volquez appears to have sewn up the rotation's No. 5 spot, and he has the numbers to back up that assertion.

In his five-inning start during a 5-3 win over the Phillies on Tuesday, Volquez allowed one run and five hits, with one walk and five strikeouts.

"It was a good outing today. I felt good," Volquez said.

"He was very good, especially for the fact that was his second time seeing those guys," Baker said. "They made a few adjustments, but he still threw the ball well today. He threw more fastballs than the last time he saw them, so he made the adjustment himself."

This spring, the right-handed Volquez is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in six games, while tossing over 20 innings. In an optimistic sign of controlling the strike zone, he's given up just four walks while striking out 26.

"That's the key -- to be consistent," said Volquez, who has allowed six earned runs and 22 hits this spring.

Compare Volquez's numbers to fellow rotation contender Homer Bailey, and it's no contest. Bailey has a 5.21 ERA with 24 hits, 16 walks and 11 strikeouts allowed over his 19 innings. Another contender, Matt Belisle, has a 9.00 ERA over four starts but has missed two turns because of a forearm injury that has likely quashed his hopes.

Before his offseason trade from the Rangers to the Reds for Josh Hamilton, Volquez had a reputation for being erratic and throwing a lot of pitches. It's been the contrary in Cincinnati's camp this spring, where he has attacked the strike zone. He's also done well at changing speeds -- mixing his 96-mph fastball with a much improved changeup and a still developing curveball.

"We like his mound presence and his poise," Baker said. "He threw the ball well."

It was not all good for Volquez, however. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts as a batter on Tuesday.

"He has to work on his hitting some," Baker said.

Volquez should have ample time to do that in the big leagues, starting next week.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080325&content_id=2457889&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

reds44
03-25-2008, 08:48 PM
Both the starting pitcher and CF jobs have been decided for a week now.

Might as well just announce them.

kbrake
03-25-2008, 08:53 PM
It would be nice if they would announce so I could make plans to come down on either Friday or Saturday for the Phillies series. Really have no interest in paying to see Josh Fogg.

Matt700wlw
03-25-2008, 08:54 PM
It would be nice if they would announce so I could make plans to come down on either Friday or Saturday for the Phillies series. Really have no interest in paying to see Josh Fogg.

What if you weren't paying? :D

GADawg
03-25-2008, 09:41 PM
Krivsky and the boys have to be breathing a sigh of relief that Volquez has had such a spring and I'm sure that they'll be holding their collective breath as he begins the season.....that was a very bold trade IMO and sending him down to start the season would've been a major black eye.

*BaseClogger*
03-25-2008, 10:45 PM
It would be nice if they would announce so I could make plans to come down on either Friday or Saturday for the Phillies series. Really have no interest in paying to see Josh Fogg.

I'm going to be paying to see Josh Fogg's first start in Cincy and then his next start in Milwaukee... :(

remdog
03-25-2008, 10:57 PM
20 IP, 4 W's, 26K's. Mercy! Those are some numbers! I don't even want to project those....it would be unfair to expect those ratios over a full season.

Rem

fearofpopvol1
03-26-2008, 02:17 AM
I'm wondering if it might be better to slot him in the 3rd spot. I think Cueto has a little better control, but it seems like his stuff is a little more electric and he also has the age thing going for him.

Superdude
03-26-2008, 02:40 AM
Is he really the #5 starter? I was thinking more like #2, but I guess as long as he's in there, I'm okay with it.

Jpup
03-26-2008, 04:13 AM
Is he really the #5 starter? I was thinking more like #2, but I guess as long as he's in there, I'm okay with it.

how would they put someone between Harang and Arroyo. That just wouldn't be right unless they had got Dan Haren or something.

dougdirt
03-26-2008, 06:10 AM
I would like to see the rotation set up something like this:

Harang
Arroyo
Volquez
Fogg
Cueto

That way the bullpen, if needed, can be quite rested if Volquez struggles or if Cueto had struggles since Harang and Arroyo should be good for going deep into games. Plus, Cueto in the #5 spot will hopefully let you protect his innings a little bit more.

puca
03-26-2008, 08:40 AM
how would they put someone between Harang and Arroyo. That just wouldn't be right unless they had got Dan Haren or something.

I'd like to see one of the kids pitch between Harang and Arroyo. Reduces the chance that you have to go to the bullpen early on consecutive days.

Topcat
03-26-2008, 08:47 AM
Glad Volquez is in rotation. Love the fact you see this team has far more options than in past to. This franchise is deep deep deep with players that project as MLB players and that has me incredibly excited about there future.

redsrule2500
03-26-2008, 10:22 AM
I'd like to see one of the kids pitch between Harang and Arroyo. Reduces the chance that you have to go to the bullpen early on consecutive days.

Yes, but also lowers the potential mini-break for the bullpen.

OnBaseMachine
03-26-2008, 12:31 PM
Reds notebook
Volquez again presents his case
BY JOHN ERARDI | JERARDI@ENQUIRER.COM

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Edinson Volquez did it again - another sterling outing (five hits in five innings with five strikeouts, one walk and one earned run) in his second time around against the stacked Phillies offense.

The Reds won 5-3 Tuesday at Bright House Field, as Volquez lowered his spring ERA to 2.70.

The biggest non-secret in camp is that Volquez, a right-hander, and fellow Dominican Johnny Cueto are going to compose two-fifths of the Reds' starting rotation, even though Reds manager Dusty Baker hasn't yet anointed either officially.

"I don't know yet (about being in the rotation), but I hope so," Volquez said. "Dusty has said nothing about it. Nobody has. You've got to wait."

Does he wish Baker would say something about it?

"Yeah," said Volquez, smiling. "I want to make sure."

He said it has helped to have Cueto as a teammate, to go through this experience together.

"He's taught me a little bit about how he prepares for the game, and we've talked about pitches, too," Volquez said. "When I got traded (from Texas in the Josh Hamilton deal), I talked to him."

Volquez is beginning to get excited about the start of the season.

"I can't wait," he said.

Baker said Volquez threw more fastballs than he did last time against the Phillies, showing that he is making adjustments.

"I liked his mound presence and his poise," Baker said. "He threw strikes, quality strikes. He changed patterns on guys (on the second time through the batting order). Changeup one time, fastball the next, then breaking ball."

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20080326/SPT04/803260380/

OnBaseMachine
03-27-2008, 11:45 PM
Nice little writeup on Volquez from a blog:

Keep An Eye On: Edinson Volquez
Published by WTP
on March 16, 2008

After talking about Jonathan Sanchez late last week, I start off this week with a very similar pitcher. Though Edinson Volquez punishes hitters with his right hand rather than his left, he shares many other things with Sanchez: A repetoire that consists of a 95-mph fastball with movement, an outstanding changeup, and a developing breaking pitch, a penchant for running up high strikeout totals while sometimes struggling with control, and a likely spot in his teamís starting rotation when the season starts.

Also like Sanchez, Volquez comes with a strong scouting pedigree. Ranked the #56 prospect in baseball by Baseball America in 2006, he was valued for his potential as a top-of-the-rotation starter, but largely ignored by many because of a bumpy Ď06 and a future pitching in Texas. It was a deal this offseason that brought him to Cincinnati in return for Josh Hamilton, and though coming to the GAB from Arlington isnít an improvement, stadium-wise, a move to the NL is certainly an improvement from a fantasy perspective.

Volquez is the best type of pitcher to target in deep fantasy leagues. Heís going to be cheap to acquire, but has the stuff to be one of the better pitchers in the game. Heís unproven, but has the job security that comes with being the main returning piece in the Hamilton tradeĖand you can bet the Reds are going to give him every chance to make that look like a good deal. Heís a pitcher that so far has been held back only by his command, but showed signs last year of cutting his walk rate down to an acceptable level.

After Edinson posted a disappointing 5.37BB/9 in 2006, his first year above AA, the Rangers sent him down to A-Ball, Halladay-style, to rework his delivery. The results as he moved up the ladder were encouraging:

Level IP K/9 BB/9
A+ 35.1 9.68 5.09
AA 58.1 9.57 2.93
AAA 51 11.65 3.71
MLB 34 7.68 3.97

Couple that trend with the fact that Volquez has a 19:3 K:BB in 13 IP this spring, and thereís reason to be excited about the direction heís heading. I believe that heís turned a corner, and is one of the more exciting young pitching sleepers around. Look for him to land a rotation spot out of Spring Training, but remember that Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey are waiting in the wings. The three of them are each decent bets to outperform Josh Fogg and Matt Belisle this year (and certainly in the future) but it remains to be seen how that all will play out. In a keeper league, grab Volquez while heís still cheap and enjoy the results whether they come sooner or later. I could see him putting up a season with 8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, a 1.30 WHIP, and 10-15 wins in Ď08 if given the chance. John Maine numbers.

http://wtpblog.com/?p=101