View Full Version : Volquez happy to be back

02-20-2010, 09:49 PM
Volquez happy to be back
By C. Trent Rosecrans, CNATI.com Posted February 20, 2010 2:39 PM ET

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - During the winter, Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was home in the Dominican Republic and went to a baseball game just to see a teammate, Francisco Cordero, throw in a winter league game.

Volquez, who underwent season-ending ulnar collateral ligament surgery in August, couldn't throw, but more than missing pitching, he missed his teammates. Volquez caught up with Cordero after the game and the veteran told him to keep his head up, that spring training was just around the corner.

Volquez still doesn't take part in all the same activities as his teammates, his rehabilitation from the so-called "Tommy John" surgery is expected to take a year, but he's excited just to be with his teammates in Arizona.

"I'm happy right now, I'm still here on the team, I feel like I'm part of the team," Volquez said. "I'm with my teammates. You get time with guys in here, you say hello to everyone, they make you happy."

Volquez is tough to miss at the Reds' complex. He's a centerpiece of the clubhouse, holding court in both English and Spanish. As pitchers moved between fielding stations for their first workout on Thursday, Volquez urged them on, telling them to get a move on in both languages, sometimes mixing the two.

An All-Star in 2008, Volquez wasn't as successful in 2009, going 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA before feeling pain in his arm in June. He was twice on the disabled list, the first time with back spasms and then with the elbow injury that ended his season. Volquez dismisses any talk that his participation in the World Baseball Classic hampered his conditioning or caused injuries, he refuses to believe it was a product of anything but bad luck.

Now, he's dealing with it. He's throwing from 130 feet on flat ground, taking fielding practice, bunting -- in his words, doing "everything a pitcher does except pitch."

The most common mistake among pitchers returning from the Tommy John surgery is rushing back, and the Reds are worried about Volquez setting too early of a timetable. He's already said he wants to return by the anniversary of his Aug. 3 surgery.

On Friday, Reds manager Dusty Baker and pitching coach Bryan Price sat down a talked to him about what he needs to do during spring training - to not push himself physically, but to continue to push himself mentally.

"He'll come back strong and I'm going to have to talk to him to him about continuing to pitch and compete in his mind even though he's not on the field, continue to play the game like he's pitching," Baker said. "Sit over there and think what pitch he'd throw right now in order to stay in mental continuity and to maintain being a part of the team."

Right now, though, that's enough for Volquez.


02-20-2010, 10:43 PM
Ya gotta love Volquez. He's always smiling, and just seems like a great guy. He was very nice both times I met him at Redsfest. He's fun to watch. I can't wait until he's healthy and back on the mound again. Imagine if the Reds can stay in contention until August and then get Volquez back from injury. He could be a huge boost to the pitching staff. They'll probably start him off in the bullpen and then give him a couple of starts at the end of the season. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing him pitch again.

02-21-2010, 01:27 AM
I'm rooting very hard for Volquez to get back by his goal date. He's such a great guy (I met him at Redsfest too and he was SO nice to all the fans) and I definitely want to be able to make plans to attend his first home game back with the team. Go Edinson! :thumbup: