Edinson Volquez Project: The Cure
By Tom Smith
The Edinson Volquez Project is underway in Pittsburgh
Not that any Pittsburgh Pirates fans need a newsflash, but Edinson Volquez isn’t pitching well this spring. Surprised? When he was with San Diego last year, Volquez held the bad guys to a batting average of .179 over 20.2 innings. So why is he getting worse?
Under the tutelage of Pirates Pitching Coach Ray Searage, Volquez has allowed nine earned runs in three games. Ugly stuff. The opposition is hitting .360 against the Five Milion Dollar Man, the worst opposition batting average he has ever allowed in spring training. (Heh, this is under our newest category–Spring Training Overreactions)
Look at the numbers any way you like. They don’t look magical, so let’s say the magic pixie dust is more like zombie dust as we journey along the Edison Volquez Project.
On Sunday, Volquez gave up two long balls to Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy and six more earned runs. In case you missed it, Tony Sanchez took the blame.
"His (Edinson Volquez) stuff was really good. Unfortunately, that was the first time I’ve ever caught him, and him and I weren’t on the same page, I could see he was uncomfortable throwing to me, and it kind of affected him. I take that to heart. I did not feel good back there because I knew he wasn’t really in sync. There was a lot of shakes, a lot of time in between pitches.I knew he wasn’t in the rhythm that he wanted to be in. That’s natural after coming over from somewhere else and throwing to a guy you’ve never thrown to before. It’s a process. You have to learn these guys, and that’s what Spring Training is for. Unfortunately, we did give up a couple home runs off some quality pitches, but those are big league hitters, and that’s why they’re in the bigs."
Feb 26, 2014; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (36) throws a pitch during the second inning against the New York Yankees at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
For a moment this afternoon as we were guzzling a few coldies listening to the carnage, it hit us. We wondered how well was Francisco Liriano pitching this this time last year?
Oh shit. That’s right. Never mind.
We drank a few more. I focused my inner Clint Hurdle and hammered my keyboard doing some recaps of the worst games of the Pirates 2014 season, you know, even if they don’t count, they do matter.
And then it hit me. We figured out the answer should the tweaks to Volquez’s head, his plant foot, his mental state, his.., his well everything fail. If all else fails, it must be broken. Perhaps Volquez should truly follow the Francisco Liriano comeback trail, maybe he can break his non-throwing arm.