Blog Archives

December 17, 2011

Volquez, three others to SD for Latos

The Reds are reporting that they have completed a five-player trade with the San Diego Padres to send RHP Edinson Volquez, RHP Brad Boxberger, infielder Yonder Alonso, and catcher Yasmani Grandal to the sunshine state in exchange for RHP Mat Latos.

It would have cost the Reds another top-10 prospect to get Mat’s other T, so they decided they could do without it.

Even though all the guys were sort of redundant and there’s scarcely a major leaguer among them, if you follow the Reds, you know that those four young men we’re sending away are a pretty big deal. The one guy we’re getting in return had better be pretty special. Here’s what the story on has to say:

The 24-year-old Latos went 9-14 with a 3.47 ERA and .233 average against in 31 starts this past season in San Diego. In 2010, his first full season in the Majors, he set a modern Major League record by allowing two-runs-or-fewer in 15 straight starts of five-or-more innings pitched, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

I’ll also add that his ground ball to fly ball ratio was 0.76 last year.

Clearly we’ll see how it goes as more information emerges and as the season plays out, but for the moment, I’m saying it’s more exciting thing to happen in Reds fandom since June. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

May 23, 2011

The Demotion of Edinson Volquez

It’s happened again. The Cincinnati Reds have sent Edinson Volquez back to the minors.

Last year, after returning from Tommy John surgery, Volquez struggled with his command and was eventually sent down to the minors to sort things out. This year is very similar to last year, although this year’s frustrations seem to be isolated primarily to the first inning. And while I prefer my idea of just having a reliever pitch the first inning and having Volquez “relieve” in the second, I guess sending him down to AAA Louisville might help, too.

The Reds made some other moves, too.

Today the Reds recalled from Louisville IF/OF Todd Frazier (#21) and LHP Matt Maloney (#56) and optioned to Louisville RHP Jordan Smith and RHP Edinson Volquez.

Frazier will be making his major league debut when he first makes an appearance.

How did Volquez take his demotion after failing to get through 3 innings in his last start?

“He took it like a man,” Baker said. “[H]e needs to go down there and get himself right. That’s why we’re doing it. It’s going to be hard to go all the way and win, if we don’t have him, a sharp Volquez. This is a temporary setback. Sometimes in this game or life period, you’ve got to take a step back to go two or three steps forward. It’s tough to take that step back. The time is now. You still got 3 1/2 months when he comes back. There are a lot of ballgames left.

There is a lot of time left, and the Reds do need their number one pitcher. But with this move and the way they’ve played recently, my confidence in their ability to repeat as NL Central champs is shaken. They’re making the road harder for themselves.

February 27, 2011

Edinson Volquez in Trouble

Every year, it seems there’s a baseball player or two who have Visa problems upon entering the United States. This year, the lucky recipient seems to be Edinson Volquez.

The U.S. government has yet to approve Volquez’s work visa. The right-hander, who is from the Dominican Republic, is in the country on a traveler’s visa but it does not permit him to perform in games in front of paying customers.

Because of that, Volquez will not start today’s spring opener against the Cleveland Indians as originally planned. Instead, Matt Maloney, who’s competing for a bullpen spot, will get the chance to impress. Volquez will continue working out and likely pitch in minor league games until the Visa issues are cleared up. Hopefully, that will be soon, but no one knows when it may happen.

“It’s up to the government,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He can stay here until it’s approved and when it’s approved, we’ll send him back [to big league games].”

As long as it’s by opening day.

February 22, 2011

Cincinnati Reds Announce Opening Day Starter

Apparently inspired by the early start to the season, the Dusty Baker and the Reds have gone ahead and announced the Opening Day starter before there have even been any spring training games, per se. From John Fay:

“After much deliberation and talking to the guys, after talking to Bryan (Price), we’re going to open with Volquez,” Baker said.

Bronson Arroyo will start the second game, followed by Johnny Cueto in Game 3.

“You want to go hard, soft,” Baker said. “You want to break up Volqie and Cueto. You don’t want them to try to out radar-gun each other. Whoever the fifth starter is going to be — other than Homer (Bailey) — is going to be softer. If Bronson is No. 1, you’ve got two softer guys back-to-back.”

Here at RHM we’ve had our share of fun at Arroyo’s expense, but in all seriousness, he’s an innings-eater, not the number 1, which pretty much did leave it down to Volquez or Cueto (or the mystery number 1 that I kept hoping Jocketty would surprise us with), so I guess there wasn’t much point in waiting. Plus, there’s the bonus of:

  • Letting Volquez get used to the idea
  • Letting all the pitchers just get ready and not worry about it (except the ones competing for 4 and 5, of course)
  • Letting Opening Day activity planners put in their order for a parade float featuring a bust of Volquez made entirely of carnations

And getting the fans all the more excited about the end of this dreary snow and the beginning of baseball season. Good luck, Volquie!

January 30, 2011

Edinson Volquez Avoids Arbitration

In a move that will no doubt not be officially announced for another week or two, the Cincinnati Reds have signed their last arbitration-eligible player to a contract. Edinson Volquez has signed what is believed to be a $1.6 million, one-year deal.

General manager Walt Jocketty had been attempting to sign Volquez to a multi-year deal, but was unsuccessful.

“We’ll see if they’re up for doing more later,” Jocketty said Sunday from a Reds Caravan stop in Lexington. “We tried to do a multiyear deal. They just wanted to concentrate on the one year now. [Volquez’s agent] had a few cases and wanted to get the arbitration thing out of the way.”

I think that the Reds escaped an unnecessary risk here. Given Volquez’s recent Tommy John surgery, I’m not sure how wise it would be to sign him to a long-term contract. Let him prove he can be healthy for more than a year, first.

The signing means the Reds will not have to tear down Volquez in front of an arbiter, and he won’t have to hear such things as, “You and Johnny Cueto have hairstyles that are too similar.”