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Is it time for Reds to demote Edinson Volquez?

May 11, 2011, 8:20 PM EDT

Edinson Volquez

Even though he didn’t really excel in his first half-season back from Tommy John surgery, going 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 12 starts, Edinson Volquez was Reds manager Dusty Baker’s choice to start on Opening Day this year.

And as it turned out, it worked just fine.  Volquez gave up five runs in six innings, but the Reds won 7-6 anyway.  It’s turned into something of a trend: Volquez gets off to a horrible start, puts it together enough in order to keep Cincinnati in the game and the Reds end up with a narrow victory.  They’re 5-3 in his eight starts this year, with four of those wins coming by one run.

Volquez, though, has a 5.74 ERA after allowing three runs in four innings Wednesday against the Astros.  He’s yet to pitch more than six innings in a start.  He issued five walks today, bringing his season total to 33 in 43 1/3 innings.

And it’s not like the Reds don’t have alternatives.  Both Mike Leake and Sam LeCure did solid work while filling in for Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey over the first five weeks.   Leake had a 5.77 ERA in six starts, but he was legitimately good in four of them (and bombed in the other two).  LeCure had a 4.79 ERA in four starts.

So if the Reds don’t want to send down Aroldis Chapman to make room for Jose Arredondo this weekend, they could choose to demote Volquez and restore either Leake or LeCure to the rotation (probably Leake).  Volquez has options remaining, so there’s no concern there.  A few weeks in the minors to work on his control issues in a low-pressure situation might be just the thing for him.

  1. djwhite2710 - May 11, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Matt – I could be wrong…but I am 90% sure that he is out of options making a minor league demotion impossible…

  2. Matthew Pouliot - May 11, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    John Fay mentioned today that he did have options.

    link

  3. jwbiii - May 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Volquez was optioned in ’06, ’07, and ’10. The 2010 optional assignment was for less than 10 days, so it doesn’t count. He has one left.

  4. theman1932 - May 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Without a doubt, it is time to demote Volquez. I would honestly try to trade him and get whatever value they can get. Every time out, he seems to put the Reds in a hole. Most of it is his own doing by walking many batters. Even though the numbers aren’t great for Leake, I think he has earned a spot in the rotation. At least Leake can help himself and swing the bat; Volquez is awful with the bat. I scratched my head when Dusty started him in Game 1 of NLDS last year (it didn’t really make a difference). I was ticked off when Dusty tabbed him for Opening Day this year. It’s a big deal in CIncinnati and he doesn’t deserve any respect yet.

  5. Reggie's Bush - May 12, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    He was demoted off of my fantasy team today…

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