Edinson Volquez
Edinson Volquez
35-Year-Old PitcherSP
Texas Rangers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Volquez, who signed a two-year contract with the Rangers before the 2018 campaign, missed the entire season while working his way back from Tommy John surgery. He's expected to be fully healthy entering spring training, and the veteran figures to have the inside track on an Opening Day rotation spot after being added to the team's 40-man roster in November. Volquez last pitched in the majors in 2017, posting a 4.19 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 7.9 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 across 92.1 innings (17 starts) with the Marlins. Volquez will be 35 years old entering the season, the right-hander has always offered limited upside (career 4.42 ERA, 7.7 K/9). Remember too that his new home stadium is one of the worst for pitchers. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $2 million contract with Texas in November of 2018.
Likely to start second game
PTexas Rangers
March 17, 2019
Manager Chris Woodward tentatively announced a rotation for the season-opening series against the Cubs that has Volquez pitching the second game of the season, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. If the schedule holds, Volquez would pitch Saturday, March 30.
Woodward does not want to have the three projected starters that are coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery to pitch consecutively, so he plans to move Volquez behind Mike Minor and ahead of Lance Lynn. The reason behind the move is that the manager does not want to put stress on a bullpen that may be needed to pitch a lot if the Tommy John survivors can't get deep into games.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .279 661 113 79 158 33 4 16
Since 2016vs Right .262 589 107 50 137 27 1 15
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left .266 214 41 34 46 9 2 5
2017vs Right .203 183 40 19 32 10 0 3
2016vs Left .284 447 72 45 112 24 2 11
2016vs Right .288 406 67 31 105 17 1 12
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
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ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 4.83 1.45 150.0 9 7 0 7.7 4.1 0.8
Since 2016Away 5.17 1.57 130.2 5 12 0 6.3 4.1 1.2
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 4.12 1.40 43.2 3 3 0 9.1 6.6 0.6
2017Away 4.25 1.44 48.2 1 5 0 6.8 3.9 0.9
2016Home 5.11 1.47 107.1 6 4 0 7.1 3.1 0.8
2016Away 5.71 1.65 82.0 4 7 0 5.9 4.3 1.4
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Blister, thumb and knee injuries caused Volquez to miss time in 2017, and while he was working his way back from the knee injury, it was revealed that he had a torn UCL in his pitching elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery in early August, and the Marlins opted to release him in December to free up a 40-man roster spot. If everything goes well with his rehab, a return in late 2018 is possible, and it will be interesting to see if a team will try to sign him on a two-year deal with the hope of getting him at a discount for 2019. Prior to getting hurt, Volquez was carrying his highest strikeout rate (7.9 K/9) since 2012, but the extra strikeouts came with his highest walk rate since 2012 as well (5.2 BB/9). Considering that Volquez will turn 35 before he's ready to pitch in his next competitive game, interest may be tepid until he proves he's fully recovered from the procedure.
Not much changed in terms of Volquez's skills from 2015 to 2016, but the results were dramatically different. Volquez's ERA rose by nearly two full runs as his opponents' BABIP and HR/FB rates crept up and his strand rate ticked down. His strikeout and walk rates held pretty steady although his 7.4 percent K-BB percentage was his lowest since 2009. The right-hander did up his groundball rate back to above 51 percent and continued to average better than 93 mph with his fastball, so a rebound to some extent seems likely as he enters Year 1 of a two-year pact with Miami. That said, there's obvious downside here and no strikeout upside. Even at a low cost, Volquez is not especially appealing in standard fantasy formats. Other arms in his ADP range will carry more risk but offer far greater profit potential.
Pitchers rarely turn their careers around with two of their three best seasons ages 30 and 31, yet that’s exactly what Volquez has done. From 2005-13, Volquez had a 4.75 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, and 4.8 BB/9 in 850 innings. The last two years have seen him post a 3.30 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 393 innings. There have been some real skills changes, but enough to merit nearly a run and a half drop in ERA? Doubtful. There are two outside factors that Volquez has really benefited from with Pittsburgh and Kansas City: defense and bullpen. With the traffic that his walks put on the bases, these two elements are crucial. Since he’ll be a Royal again in 2016 those elements will remain in his favor, but we’re still dealing with someone whose best walk rates are below average for the rest of the league.
Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage took Volquez under his wing and coaxed an impressive campaign out of the 31-year-old in 2014. Volquez lowered his earned run average from 5.71 to 3.04 and his WHIP from 1.59 to 1.23 in one season under Searage. The right-hander's 1.97 K/BB rate was the best since he compiled a 2.22 mark back in 2008, when he made the All-Star team as a rookie with Cincinnati. He doesn't strike out a ton of batters (140:71 K:BB ratio in 192.2 innings), but his stuff has such good movement on it that he simply needs to throw strikes and work quickly. Volquez is a high-maintenance pitcher, but in the right situation, he can help fantasy owners.
Brought in to give the team's other starters a rest for the Dodgers' playoff run, Volquez posted a 4.18 ERA in six appearances after washing out in San Diego via a 6.01 mark. Volquez still throws pretty hard (92.5 mph average fastball) and his 7.5 K/9 was solid, but he's still very erratic and unreliable as a starting option. At this point in his career, his hold on a big league roster spot is far from guaranteed, but the Pirates took a $5 million chance on him in December, and he should see an opportunity to compete for a spot in the back of the Pittsburgh rotation as a result.
In 2012 with the Padres, Volquez turned in a near carbon copy of his 2011 season with the Reds, which is not a good thing. Yes, his home-run rate declined, which is likely a product of his new home ballpark, but his strikeout rate and walk rate stayed the same. This produced a 4.14 ERA, which while his lowest ERA since his 2008 breakout season with the Reds, underlines the fact that he simply is not someone fantasy owners should be counting on to help their teams. With a career 4.9 BB/9 over nearly 680 innings, it is not tough to see why Volquez has a 4.52 ERA for his career. If anything, owners should look to use him only at Petco Park, where some of his flaws can be covered up.
Volquez was one of the huge disappointments of the 2011 season, finishing with a 5.71 ERA and 1.574 WHIP. First innings were particularly disastrous for him, especially early in the season. Batters facing him on his first 15 pitches in a given start hit a collective .393/.493/.687 with seven homers and 10 walks. Volquez's velocity remains intact, but his control, never a strong point, took a turn for the worse. Without significant improvements in his command, Volquez's future as a major league starter is in doubt. Fortunately, he'll get a fresh start with the Padres after being included in the Mat Latos deal in December. Petco Park won't cure his control issues, but it should help to cure some of his gopheritis.
Pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery typically get their velocity back before their control, and that was definitely the case with Volquez. After a splashy 2010 debut, Volquez had a mix of good outings and bad ones, and the bad ones were particularly disastrous. He suffered from some bad defense, a tight strike zone and a quick hook by Dusty Baker in his one playoff start. Don't let that dissuade you on draft day - better times are ahead for Volquez.
Before getting shut down with Tommy John surgery, Volquez pitched a few outings while trying to recover from a back injury, and then a tingling numbing sensation in his fingers that was ultimately revealed to be connected to his elbow problem. Even after he went on the DL, Volquez went through a couple of fits and starts trying to work his way back. By the time they operated on the elbow, it was shredded. Right now, Volquez and the Reds are saying all the right things about his rehab progress, but be skeptical of reports that suggest he'll be in the rotation by midseason. We probably won't see the effective version of Volquez until 2011.
Volquez had a breakout season in 2008 after coming over in the Josh Hamilton deal, going from being a fourth starter to the Reds' ace as the season progressed. There's good reason to believe that Volquez will fall back a little in 2009. He faltered after the All-Star break, posting a 4.60 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 13 starts. He also threw nearly 20 more innings than he had ever thrown in a season, and given his high pitch counts in games, they were somewhat stressful innings. We still expect a good year out of Volquez, but don't automatically assume that he'll build off of his 2008 season.
Volquez began the year all the way back down at High-A Bakersfield in an attempt to rebuild his mechanics and confidence. He pitched well enough to get a look in the rotation in September, and managed 29 K in 34 innings but also walked 15 batters. His control will determine how successful he'll be in the majors, but there's upside here in leagues that count strikeouts. Volquez was traded to the Reds in December for Josh Hamilton, where he'll presumably slot into the rotation immediately as a fourth or fifth starter. The change in leagues will help, even if the change ballparks won't.
Volquez began the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City, making 21 starts and allowing just 86 hits in 120.2 innings to go with 130 K. Mixed in were 72 walks, however, and he struggled after a promotion to the majors. In eight starts for Texas, Volquez allowed 52 hits and 17 walks in 33.1 innings, fanning just 15. Among Texas pitching prospects, Volquez is deemed the most "major league ready" and he'll likely get a look this spring to nail down a rotation spot.
Volquez flew through the Texas system like Juan Dominguez did back in 2003, with a jaw-dropping win-loss record and smashing ERA. His 10 starts at Double-A Frisco, which included 58 H, 17 BB and 49 K in 58 2/3 IP, were enough to earn a promotion to the majors. He struggled in three starts, and three subsequent relief appearances, so a season spent at Triple-A Oklahoma City would do him some good.
More Fantasy News
Up to three innings
PTexas Rangers
March 10, 2019
Volquez allowed two hits and struck out two over three innings in Saturday's game against the White Sox.
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Better in second start
PTexas Rangers
March 4, 2019
Volquez allowed a hit and struck out one in Monday's game against the Rockies.
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Toes rubber after 20-month hiatus
PTexas Rangers
February 27, 2019
Volquez allowed four runs on four hits and a hit batsman while striking out two over one inning Wednesday against the Cubs.
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Major-league deal set in motion
PTexas Rangers
November 29, 2018
Volquez (elbow) signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Rangers on Thursday, Jon Heyman of FancredSports.com reports.
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Returns to 40-man roster
PTexas Rangers
November 20, 2018
Volquez (elbow) was added to the Rangers' 40-man roster Tuesday.
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