Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Edinson Volquez burst onto the scene with the Cincinatti Reds in 2008 and looked like an absolute ace for the team. However, injuries and inconsistency derailed the promising career and many thought Volquez was going to be a one-hit wonder, and until 2014, those people were right. In the offseason between 2013 and 2014, Volquez signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates and it may have been the best thing to ever happen to him. For his part, Volquez had repeatedly credited Searage and company with revitalizing his career. Lost in all of the nuts and bolts with Searage is the fact that the man knows how to take his foot off the gas with his guys, as this quote from Volquez last year shows:
"“The pitching coach (Ray Searage) came up to me before the game, and I thought we were going to go over the scouting report. Instead, he said, ‘You’ve seen these guys before. Just go win the game.'” — RHP Edinson Volquez"
With Ray Searage as his pitching coach, Volquez changed several things about his approach to pitching. He started by throwing the fastball/change up combo less often and added the knuckle-curve. This kept opposing hitters completely off balance and instantly paid off for both Volquez and the Pirates.
WAR Totals in seasons before Searage: 2012: 1.0, 2013: -2.4.
WAR Total w/ Searage: 2014: 2.5
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- Added Knuckle Curve
- 418 times thrown – MLB hit .191AVG/.262OBP/.255SLG/.517OPS/62wRC+
- Threw fastball less
- 2012: 906 times – MLB hit: .283AVG/.434OBP/.475SLG/.908OPS/162wRC+
- 2013: 593 times – MLB hit: .296AVG/.409OBP/.479SLG/.888OPS/160wRC+
- 2014: 544 times – MLB Hit: .160AVG/.306OBP/.244SLG/.550OPS/73wRC+
- Threw change-up way less
- 2012: 798 times – MLB hit: .183AVG/.264OBP/.262SLG/.526OPS/60wRC+
- 2013: 620 times – MLB hit: .265AVG/.296OBP/.506SLG/.802OPS/136wRC+
- 2014: 532 times – MLB hit: .232AVG/.299OBP/.333SLG/.632OPS/90wRC+
Next: The Dark Knight