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Reds stick with Edinson Volquez, demote Mike Leake

May 14, 2011, 3:02 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Mike Leake will make his minor league debut within the next few days after the Reds chose to demote him, rather than Edinson Volquez, to open up a spot on the roster for Jose Arredondo on Saturday.

Leake, the eighth overall pick in 2009, became the first draftee to skip the minors and go straight to the majors since Oakland’s Ariel Prieto in 1995 when the Reds made him their fifth starter to begin 2010. He looked like a Rookie of the Year candidate initially, but he began struggling in August and he was eventually shut down due to right shoulder fatigue.

Leake was expected to make this year’s squad as a middle reliever, but he was put into the rotation as a result of the injuries to Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey. He gave the Reds four quality starts in six tries to begin the season, but since his other two outings were awful, he had a 5.77 ERA. Recently reassigned to the pen, he allowed one run in two innings over three appearances.

Volquez looked like a strong candidate for demotion after another sloppy outing Wednesday. He’s 3-1 in eight starts, but his ERA stands at 5.74 and he’s walked 33 in 42 1/3 innings. The Reds will stick with him for now, but they do plan to use Leake as a starter in the minors, making him a candidate to step back into the rotation at the end of the month.

Arredondo is returning to the majors for the first time since 2009. He was an outstanding setup man for the Angels as a rookie in 2008, going 10-2 with a 1.62 ERA, but he struggled to a 6.00 ERA the following season and then underwent Tommy John surgery. The Angels non-tendered him after the procedure, and the Reds, knowing he’d miss all of 2010, signed him, hoping it’d pay off this year. He had a 2.30 ERA and a 21/6 K/BB ratio in 15 2/3 innings during his rehab assignment.

  1. metalhead65 - May 14, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    sad to see a young pitcher who not only has potential but actualy shows it be sent down but at least he won’t be misused by dusty in the bullpen. it is a role he was never suited don’t toss a guy who was your #1 pick 2 years ago in the pen. I do not understand why they continue to stick with volquez who other than the initial success he had when he first came to the reds when he made the all star team, has done nothing to show he is a #1 starter let alone ace of the staff. great he can throw 95 but what good does it do if he can’t throw strikes? sick of the tommy john excuse to,it will 2 years in june so enough with that. he hasn’t been the same since he got busted for roids while rehabbing from surgery. the reds will never admit they got hosed in the hamilton deal even if he keeps costing them games.

  2. goldensombrero3000 - May 15, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Mike Leake can bunt a shit load better than Volquez

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