Volquez injury worse than believed
By Hal McCoy
Updated 1:32 AM Thursday, June 25, 2009
TORONTO — Edinson Volquez, a 17-game winner for the Cincinnati Reds last year but only a four-game winner so far this season, won’t be seeking a fifth win until after the All-Star break.
He and the Reds received the disturbing news Wednesday that inflammation remains in his forearm and that his throwing program has been put on hold until further notice.
Volquez had planned to pitch off a mound this week, but a second MRI revealed the inflammation and medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek shut him down. Another examination is scheduled for Tuesday.
“The second MRI revealed there still is a significant amount of swelling,” said trainer Mark Mann. “The first MRI was not the clearest because of swelling, which is why we followed up with a second MRI before we’d let him advance to the mound.”
The inflammation is in the forearm muscle where it attaches to the muscle and while manager Dusty Baker said he was told there is some sort of partial tear
, there is no ligament damage.
“When you are talking about a starting pitcher and the time he has missed off the mound (he last pitched June 1), then when you talk about side and bullpen sessions and a rehab assignment, just to build his pitch count, I’d say, yes, you are looking beyond the All-Star break for his return,” said Mann.
“Guess things were a little more serious than anticipated,” said Baker. “It is not serious enough to operate. It’s not in the ligament.”
Taveras, Rosales sit
Baker tinkered with his lineup for Wednesday’s game, benching center fielder Willy Taveras and third baseman Adam Rosales in favor of Chris Dickerson in center (and leading off) and Danny Richar at third base.
And he’ll tinker some more for tonight’s game — Paul Janish at shortstop and Jerry Hairston Jr. at third base.
“Rosey (Rosales) has been struggling (4-48, .083) and I’m getting a lefthanded bat in there (Richar),” said Baker. “I’ll probably play Janish tomorrow. If they’re here, they are going to play.”
Taveras, batting .104 in his last 26 games, is on a program of extra hitting, “To find his rhythm. We’re going to the cage every day until he gets it. Some of the pressures he puts on himself are unnecessary, but it is a reality,” said Baker.
A rotation opening
It is ironic that when Homer Bailey gets his second chance this season Saturday, he gets a second chance at the Cleveland Indians, too.
Bailey made one start for the Reds and it was May 23 at home against the Indians and it was disastrous — 4 1/3 innings, six earned runs, three hits, six walks. He didn’t get the loss, but the Reds did, 7-6.
Bailey, 8-5 with a 2.71 ERA at Class AAA Louisville, has won five of his last six starts and pitched scoreless outings in three of the last five, giving up only one run in his last start.
With the news of Volquez’s expected prolonged absence, the Saturday start won’t be a one-shot deal.
Baker and the Reds aren’t anointing Bailey yet, but it is his turn Saturday. And Baker acknowledged that, “Yeah, whoever starts Saturday could get more than one. But whoever it is needs to give us some quality.”
A chance meeting
With everything surrounding Joey Votto and his stress/depression over his father’s death, Baker had a surreal event for lunch Wednesday.
A friend took Baker to lunch and it became an unbelievable coincidence. Lunch was at a place owned by former NHL player Shayne Corson. What Baker didn’t know until he talked to Corson was that he suffered stress and depression after his father died young. Corson left his team and missed a playoff game.
“He had anxiety,” said Baker. “I had a nice talk with him. That’s way coincidental, just happened. He told me his dad passed away at 42 or 45. It was almost like the meeting was planned, not by me. But it was planned by somebody.”
Quote of the day
An unusual heat wave is enveloping Toronto and pitcher Arthur Rhodes told Brandon Phillips he almost walked to lunch, but it was too hot, to which Phillips said, “Good thing you didn’t. You would have come back looking like a melted Hershey’s Kiss.”