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OnBaseMachine
08-16-2010, 03:59 PM
Fangraphs has an update on Edinson Volquez and one particular tidbit really stood out to me.


In terms of stuff, Volquez is sitting at a typical 93-94 MPH with his fastball and getting whiffs 9% of the time with the pitch (6% MLB average). It appears as though he has nearly scrapped his slider in favor of a 77 MPH curveball, which is garnering whiffs 15% (11.6% MLB average). Volquez’s low-80′s changeup has a 20.5% whiff rate (12.6% MLB average). Of course, finding home plate has been an issue — the fastball has a 58.7% strike rate (60-62% MLB average), the curve sits at 50.4% (58%) and the change 55.6% (60.7%).

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/an-edinson-volquez-update/

Those numbers are a testament to how great Volquez's stuff is. I think without a doubt Volquez has some of the best stuff in baseball. Even with below average control he's still a good pitcher. Imagine how great he could be if he could elevate his control to average or better? He had a career 3.4 BB/9 in the minor leagues, if he can drop his major league walk rate to that level he'll start contending for Cy Young's, IMO. Heck, even if he drops his walk rate back to where it was in 2008 (4.3 BB/9) he's still a top-of-rotation caliber starter.

This is just my opinion, but I think we'll start to see his control improve the further he gets away from Tommy John surgery. He'll never have Maddux like control but I think we'll eventually see his walk rate drop to the 3.5-4.2 range which is acceptable for a guy with his stuff.

I'm just glad to have him back. He's a lot of fun to watch and is one of the most talented arms the Reds have had in my lifetime.

lollipopcurve
08-16-2010, 04:02 PM
I don't know if the stats are out there to get the real story, but it seems to me Volquez's curve is better now than it used to be. A little harder, a little crisper (later) break.

OnBaseMachine
08-16-2010, 04:30 PM
Anyone know where I can find the whiff rate stat? I would like to see how Volquez stacks up against guys like Strasburg, Wainwright, Lincecum, King Felix...

Caveat Emperor
08-16-2010, 05:45 PM
I don't know if the stats are out there to get the real story, but it seems to me Volquez's curve is better now than it used to be. A little harder, a little crisper (later) break.

During one of Volquez's recent starts, Welsh said that Volquez had taught himself to throw a curveball by watching film of some other pitcher. There was discussion about how he thought that scrapping the slider in favor of a curveball would put less stress on his elbow.

As I recall, Volquez pre-TJ was a strictly fastball, slider, change pitcher. I can never recall him throwing the slow curve that he has now.

VR
08-16-2010, 05:57 PM
That was the thing that amazed me about his 1st start. Not that guys were swinging and missing....but that they were swinging and missing by 6-8 inches.

RedsMan3203
08-16-2010, 06:18 PM
During one of Volquez's recent starts, Welsh said that Volquez had taught himself to throw a curveball by watching film of some other pitcher. There was discussion about how he thought that scrapping the slider in favor of a curveball would put less stress on his elbow.

As I recall, Volquez pre-TJ was a strictly fastball, slider, change pitcher. I can never recall him throwing the slow curve that he has now.

That is correct, and that pitcher will not be named....

Chip R
08-16-2010, 06:49 PM
That is correct, and that pitcher will not be named....

Lord Voldemort?

Joseph
08-16-2010, 07:15 PM
Lord Voldemort?

He who walks behind the rows.

lollipopcurve
08-16-2010, 07:19 PM
As I recall, Volquez pre-TJ was a strictly fastball, slider, change pitcher. I can never recall him throwing the slow curve that he has now.

No, the breaking ball back then was a curve, just like now. He threw it rarely, but was surprisingly consistent in getting strikes with it. The curve he's got now is similar, yet seems a bit harder with more bite. Or I could be imagining the difference.

Tornon
08-16-2010, 09:45 PM
That is correct, and that pitcher will not be named....

Do you think said pitcher will whine if Volquez manages to win the Cy Young next year due to what caused him to learn his new curveball?

Superdude
08-16-2010, 10:04 PM
The curve he's got now is similar, yet seems a bit harder with more bite. Or I could be imagining the difference.

You're definitely not imagining. It was more of a rolling, get-me-over pitch the past few years. I don't ever remember him burying guys with curveballs around there ankles.

From what I can remember...
1) he used a curveball all through the minors that was an average pitch at best
2) Didn't we develop the slider when he came over in the Hamilton deal?

Either way, this guy's used hardly anything but a fastball and a changeup to be one of the better strikeout pitchers around. Throwing in a legit swing-and-miss curveball is going to be a heck of a lot for opposing hitters to handle.

Mario-Rijo
08-17-2010, 01:00 AM
No, the breaking ball back then was a curve, just like now. He threw it rarely, but was surprisingly consistent in getting strikes with it. The curve he's got now is similar, yet seems a bit harder with more bite. Or I could be imagining the difference.

He had both, the slider was the much better pitch but he may have used the curveball a smidge more. I'd say he'd use that slider no more than 5 times a game at most, the curve maybe twice that. Now this year he has clearly fallen in love with the curveball, he uses it quite a bit more than both pitches previously combined. But he is still primarily a FB/CH pitcher, FB/CH guys tend to get some of the better results so gotta love that.

WebScorpion
08-17-2010, 02:44 AM
I thought the major improvement when he came over from the Rangers was having Soto work with him to perfect his already impressive circle change. I also thought he used the slider a bit more than the curve pre-surgery, but you guys are right, this is not the same curve. I agree with whoever said his control should improve as he moves further away from the TJ surgery. It's really great to have him back! :thumbup: There's just something about watching opposing batters get completely fooled by a changeup that makes me smile. I loved to watch Soto do it and I love to watch Volquie for the same reason. :beerme:

PS - Reitsma had one of those changes too...a thing of beauty.