Edinson Volquez is a perfect back of the rotation starter. Most mocked the Pittsburgh Pirates this off season for signing the right-hander. We didn’t. We started #VolquezPower Fan Club and never looked back.
Obviously, most decision on signing a pitcher are based on numbers. We tried to find some numbers that would back up Volquez, but most of them suck–especially the advanced stats. One of the big things the six foot righty has struggled with is when he gets behind in the count. Hitters are ripping him at a .282 clip when he falls behind, while when he pitches ahead in the count, it’s a dfferent ball game. Batters are hitting just .202 when falling behind against Edinson Volquez.
But over his last ten starts, these numbers aren’t too bad. Last night, he fired a one-hitter and struck out seven Miami Marlins. The Pirates needed a dominant start while they played without Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker. Volquez delivered.
Volquez won’t break the bank. He is durable and has bought in to the message that Jim Benedict and Ray Searage have delivered to him. The Volquez that pitched in spring training took forever between pitches—it was painful to watch. Now, the right hander has the lowest walk percentage of his career. The troublesome spots are the swinging strikes and the reduction in strikeouts over the season. Is there more to that? Probably so. But as his confidence keeps growing, and with command of his off speed pitches which he has done very well since late May, its easy to see that when his fastball is good, like it was last night, it’s easy to see how he can strikout seven batters over seven innings like he did against the Marlins.
Last night when Volquez was rolling, it was hard to believe how far he’s came since signing with the Bucs this off season for five million bucks. Volquez was one of the worst pitchers in Major League Baseball. The reclaimation project was a success, now it’s time to deliver a contract to Volquez and make sure the perfect back of the rotation starter stays with the Bucs.
Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates