View Full Version : Projection for Volquez in '09

02-13-2009, 06:20 PM
Nearly everyone is projecting that Edinson Volquez will not be as good in 09 as he was in 08. The main reason that most point to is that he did not do very well in the second half of 08. His splits were

12-3 2.29
5-3 4.60

And if you include in that split, that his homers went up from 5 in the first half to 9 in the second, it leads one to believe that they are right. He got hit much harder in the second half, which usually is a sign of the league catching up to a pitcher and that he will not do nearly as well the next season.

However, if you look more closely at the numbers, I think a very strong case can be made for Volquez doing close to the same in 09 as he did in 08.

I think the biggest error people make is just looking at the first and second half split. Itís kinda random, and really is best used to make very broad general points. If you break down Volquezís season more thoroughly, you will see that his season breaks down into three streaks. The first one is his strong first half. The second is a streak of 4 games right after the All-Star break, and the third is the final 9 games. Here is how they break down:

1st Half

12-3 - 2.29 ERA - 1.25 WHIP - 9.96 K/9 - .38 HR/9

Next 4 Games

1-2 - 6.64 ERA - 1.85 WHIP - 6.64 K/9 - 2.2 HR/9

Last 9 Games

4-1 - 3.88 ERA - 1.32 WHIP - 10.01 K/9 - .62 HR/9

What this implies to me is that Volquez got tired after the All-Star break, partly due to the fact that he did not get one, but then bounced back and performed, while not as outstanding as he did in the first half, extremely well. In fact, those numbers in the last 9 games, are very close to his overall numbers for the year.

To me the key are the WHIP and K/9 numbers. His WHIP in the last 9 games is very close to his WHIP in the first half and his K/9 was actually better. Those are signs that he still had great stuff, and was almost as hard to hit at the end of the season as he was at the beginning. And remember that Dusty left him in too long a few times in those last 9 games to help him get to 20 wins. Not saying that Dusty wonít be that dumb again, but just that that did have some effect on his numbers.

Also, if you look at his stats against teams he had already faced, they look very simliar to his overall season stats too.

7-4 - 3.85 ERA - 1.30 WHIP - 10.28 K/9 - .51 HR/9

So you really canít say that anyone figured him out either.

So if you look at his stats broken down like that, I think it is clear that Volquez was very strong at the end of the season, and against teams that he had already faced. For me, this implies that he should do fine this year, probably around what he did overall last year.

02-13-2009, 06:51 PM
Great post. This reminds of Bronson Arroyo and some unfortunate outings that absolutely killed his ERA last year. You take out the 6 innings that he gave up 25 Earned Runs...yes, 25 Earned Runs, and his ERA drops from 4.77 to 3.76. Now I realize that you can take out a few bad innings from every pitcher and his numbers drop, but Bronson really had some terrible, terrible outings (10 ER in 1 IP against TOR for starters). Thanks for the time and effort into the Volquez breakdown. I think he will be just as dominant this year after churning out the best pitching season we've had in the past 15 years.


02-13-2009, 07:12 PM
Good post :thumbup:

A lot of the Projection systems are agreeing with you. In 08 he had a FIP of 3.60 and Marcel is predicting a 3.83 and Chone a 3.99. I know you can't take away games pitched to skew the stats to prove your point but remove the first few games after the debacle in San Diego and I wonder what the projections would be. Based around his 9.46/4.27 K/BB rate...

I think the biggest reason he will be able to sustain a sub 4.00 Fip is the fact he is basically a fastball/changeup with movement strikeout pitcher. 58.8% FB, 31.9% Change, 4.0% SLD and, 8.4% CB. Being forced to rely on a lot of breaking pitches leads to a little more incosistency (Bronson anyone?) IMO.

02-14-2009, 02:53 AM
I came across this and thought I'd post it:

Edinson Volquez Takes the Next Step
Written by Troy Patterson Wednesday, 11 February 2009 08:00

Volquez had been a top prospect for a few years and was the Texas Rangers' #1 prospect heading into 2006. He had some growing pains in his early chances at the majors though, with very high walk rates but very limited sample sizes. After a trade for the very talented Josh Hamilton during the 2007-2008 off-season, he finally pulled it together.

Volquez returned home this off-season to have some knee tendonitis checked out, but he will be ready this season and should have no lingering effects, as this was handled quickly at the end of 2008. He also slowed in his first full season, but had a strong finish as his strikeout rate returned. He pitches for Dusty Baker, which is always a concern, but looking at his use, there are reasons to be optimistic.

A study run by RazzBall.com found that throwing 27+% curveball and sliders led to more injuries or decreased performance in the following season. They also found pitch count spikes of greater than 700 pitches leads to problems. Volquez had only 12% curves and sliders in 2008. He also had a good pitch increase from 2007.

Pitching Components

Volquez was a highly rated prospect, but in 2006 he had some struggles in AAA and the Majors with his control, walking more than 4.50 batters per 9 innings at both levels. His K/BB in 120.2 IP at AAA was 1.81, which is far from elite. He appears to have turned this around in 2007, as his Minor League splits show a K/BB of 2.75. His Major League numbers suffered with a decreased strikeout rate and his K/BB was still below average at 1.93.

Looking at FanGraphs data for just the Major Leagues, he appears to have changed his approach from 2006 to 2007, as he went from throwing 10% sliders and 3% curveballs to throwing almost no sliders and 12% curveballs. In 2008, he changed again to add more changeups. This is important for two reasons. First, the changeup is his best pitch using pitch f/x, as it results in a swinging strike 20% of the time and a ball only 32% of the time. Second, the changeup causes the least amount of stress on the arm for off-speed pitches.

Volquez still had some control issues in 2008, as his BB/9 was 4.27 and a resulting K/BB of 2.22. This is not yet elite and will require a further drop in walks. The major reason for this high walk rate is his number of first pitch strikes. He falls behind hitters at one of the worst rates in baseball. For pitchers over 170 IP, he ranked only behind Barry Zito for lowest first pitch strike % at 52%. He will have to make improvements in walks to take the next step. Throwing early strikes is the first step in that direction.

His groundball rate will help him with pitching at Great American Ballpark. He threw a 46% groundball rate, limiting his HR/9 to 0.64. His HR/FB of 8.0% shows some luck, but with a low FB% the regression next year should be minimal.

Possible Improvements
The 10% increase in change up use shows he is making adjustments. His major limitation to cracking the Top 10 pitchers is walks. The good sign is that he learned how to improve the walks in the minors as he made the adjustments. If he can add in an extra 5-10% in first pitch strikes he can drop his walks/9 to under 4, which pushes his K/BB to 2.50 he would be a top 10 pitcher this year.

Final Analysis
Volquez has great talent and has been a highly touted prospect for several years. He is still putting things together and could experience some growing pains in 2009. Taking him in the middle rounds as a number 2 or 3 starter this year is well worth the gamble.

Captain Hook
02-14-2009, 03:46 AM
Volquez in '09 17-7 3.10era 200k :beerme:

Harang in '09 17-5 3.55era 210k:beerme:

Arroyo in '09 14-10 4.25era 175k:beerme:

Cueto in '09 14-10 4.50era 180k:beerme:

Owings in '09 10-10 4.90 era 160 k:beerme:

This is best case scenario but not out of their realm of potential for all five.I'll go out on a limb and say that 3 out of 5 will be very close to what I feel is their full potential.

I have to say that is much easier to look at our pitching to find ways that this team could maybe contend then it is to look at our offense and find ways.

02-14-2009, 05:48 AM
Those projections are a little optimistic but not by much. If we're lucky and they can reach that many wins between the 5 starters that would be a really good sign since the bullpen will have their share of wins too (they had more than 20 last year). I think the total will be closer to 65 without the wins from the bullpen.

02-14-2009, 10:17 AM
I think those projections are a little past best case unless Votto, Bruce, and EdE take some big steps forward. Even w/steps forward with the rotation, run support might be pretty scarce - and the debate about the defense is ongoing.

It certainly would be awesome if Owings did get locked in to the fifth spot and get that many starts.

02-14-2009, 12:45 PM
18-6 3.2 ERA 211 IP. 3rd in NL Cy voting.

02-16-2009, 11:43 AM
3.95 ERA
1.34 WHIP
200 IP
215 Ks.

02-16-2009, 11:53 AM
Honestly, my biggest concern for him right now is that he doesnt get injured in that stupid baseball classic.

02-16-2009, 12:50 PM
If he stays healthy I say 25-26 decisions

17 - 9 3.66 over 200K's
18 - 8 3.58 over 200K's

I will take either, now if Votto and EE, and Bruce do not improve we may still be looking at 26 decisions but maybe at a line of

15 - 11 3.89 still over 200K's

02-16-2009, 01:40 PM
He should be the OD starter. harang will give up 5+ in 5 IP.

02-16-2009, 02:01 PM
1. Volquez pitched more innings than he is used to pitching, and I'm sure he wore down at times.

2. Pitching is usually ahead of hitting early in the season.

3. Yes, scouting caught up to him.

My big complaint with Edison is that he allows too many walks.

02-16-2009, 02:24 PM
He should be the OD starter. harang will give up 5+ in 5 IP.

I agree that Volquez should get the nod. I like Harang and think he'll rebound this year but unless your starters stink and you import an ace (via trade or FA) I'd want the opening day starter to be the player who pitched the best for us the year before.

02-16-2009, 02:38 PM
I agree that Volquez should get the nod. I like Harang and think he'll rebound this year but unless your starters stink and you import an ace (via trade or FA) I'd want the opening day starter to be the player who pitched the best for us the year before.

My sentiments exactly.