Edinson Volquez has signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s yet another project for pitching restoration gurus Ray Searage and Jim Benedict. Both of those men along with their staff have proven that they can achieve magic with troubled arms remember Frank the Tank and Mark Melancon this year?
So just like that uncle of yours who is always backing up a beat up collector car into his garage, the Pirates garage had an open space in their rotation. The Bucs just couldn’t resist parking Edinson Volquez in it for a restoration.
But just how much of a project does the Bucs pitching staff have on their hands?
Well…Volquez gave up the most earned runs in 2013. So that’s a pretty big project.
Let’s start trying to make some sense of it.
The defense he pitched in front of was the second worst, so there is some explanation as to his putrid season. The Pirates defense won’t be nearly that bad behind the right hander in 2014, so that will help.
This is something that is mind blowing. In 16⅔ innings at Coors Field, Volquez allowed 35 hits and 25 runs. That’s hard to do.
Update: loved this comment on twitter
@rumbunter So, he IS like Liriano! It’s all coming together.
— Bryan Hoover (@DrEvil2791) December 12, 2013
After the Padres gave up on him, the LA Dodgers gave him a shot and he wasn’t too bad. As a Dodgers starter, Volquez gave up five homers. He faced just 118 batters with LA so that’s not great. With some ballpark help while with San Diego he gave up 14 homers to the 659 batters he faced.
Volquez had a 3.52 ERA over his final four starts so perhaps getting his shit together against some suspect September lineups of the Giants, Padres and Diamondbacks actually helped him forge the $5 million dollar deal. We seem to think Dan Fox and the boys had a strong opinion on Volquez. Combine that with the strong conviction of the Pirates staff to make changes that will benefit Volquez and you have a $5 million dollar project case.
For the Pirates sake, $5 million bucks is a considerable investment in a project pitcher. If this works out, the Pirates staff needs a big Christmas bonus next year, not another project. Somehow we think the Pirates will be right back in the same shopping aisle. The addiction to project arms is becoming a trend.
For some more mind blowing numbers, check out this article on Fangraphs from January.