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Reds surprisingly pick Volquez over Arroyo for Game 1 start

Oct 3, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

Bronson Arroyo indicated following his final regular season start that he expected to start Game 1 of the NLDS for the Reds, but instead Dusty Baker announced yesterday that Edinson Volquez will take the mound in the playoff opener.
Volquez returned from Tommy John elbow surgery in July and was demoted to the minors following a rough stretch in August, but has a 1.95 ERA, .183 opponents’ batting average, and 31/8 K/BB ratio in 27.2 innings since rejoining the Reds’ rotation.
In addition to Volquez’s strong post-demotion performance Baker seemingly indicated that Arroyo’s struggles against left-handed hitters played a part in the Game 1 decision, noting that “the Phillies have a lot of lefties.”
Lefties have hit .285 with a .786 OPS off Arroyo this season, compared to a .185 batting average and .576 OPS versus righties, and his career splits are similarly extreme. Volquez has been much been tougher on lefties, holding them to a .227 batting average and .314 slugging percentage, although he has allowed a .377 on-base percentage that includes a poor 33/25 K/BB ratio versus lefties.
By starting the NLDS opener Volquez is also set up to pitch a potential Game 5, with Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, and either Homer Bailey or Travis Wood each in line to make just one start.

  1. Woe is Mets - Oct 3, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    vintage Dusty Baker. just look at how he misused his pitchers in the ’02 WS. though we should give him a pass on Nen; that guy just had zero UCL left by the end of October.

  2. Cincy Sam - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    Trust me, this is a mistake. Of course Dusty will have his reasons, however he is not the manager to win a W-S. Too bad we extended his contract. Can we trade for TLR? I hope St. Louis gets rid of him, and we get a chance to get a real major league manager.

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