Volquez done, Rolen here
Pitcher Edinson Volquez finally got the news that he dreaded would come. After all of his rehab efforts were unsuccessful, surgery is the option that remains. He will undergo elbow surgery on Monday.
All that’s left to learn is how long he’ll be out. Dr. Tim Kremchek will do the procedure, but won’t know the type needed until he has a look inside. If Volquez needs Tommy John surgery, he’s looking at 9-12 months out. If it’s the less invasive arthroscopic surgery, he could be ready by Spring Training 2010.
“It just hasn’t gotten better,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said. “You always try to take the conservative route and a lot of times they come back without having surgery. In this case, we felt it hadn’t gotten better. It was still stiff and sore. We felt we needed to go in and see what’s going on.”
Volquez, who shut down his scheduled 80-pitch simulated game just 20 pitches on Friday in wheh he felt discomfort, showed his inner elbow off on Saturday and it was clearly swollen.
“I didn’t feel any pain,” Volquez said. “It’s really tight. Kremchek looked at it and said he could fix it. If it’s the best thing I can do, I’m going to do it.”
Obviously, Volquez is hoping the Tommy John operation isn’t needed.
“I feel bad because I’ve been working at for the past two months,” Volquez said. “I threw five bullpens and I didn’t feel anything. Then I get to the mound and see some hitters and I tried to do a little bit more than I did in the bullpen.”
While one season is ending, another is beginning anew in many ways. New third baseman Scott Rolen couldn’t have been more pleased about being traded to Cincinnati. His hometown is Jasper, Indiana, which isn’t very far away.
“Depends on who’s driving. I’d say 2 ½-3 hours away,” Rolen said on Saturday. “We might see a spike in beer sales on some of these weekends from a Southern Indiana group of folks when my buddies come over.”
The first thing that was noticeable about Rolen was his piece of locker real estate in the clubhouse. He was given one of the coveted double lockers at the end of the room, often reserved for veterans. However, this locker had previously been occupied by 22-year-old Jay Bruce. Now Bruce is using Edwin Encarnacion’s old locker after clubhouse manager Rick Stowe mentioned where he wanted to put Rolen. Bruce gladly accomodated.
“We got the big guy here so I moved over,” Bruce said. “The guy is an All-Star and Gold Glove winner. He deserves that locker.”
Rolen was also given No. 27, his old number when he was with the Cardinals. He wore 33 in Toronto. The former No. 27 on the Reds, rookie Drew Sutton, was reassigned No. 15 — Jerry Hairston Jr.’s former number.
“I’m thrilled to be here, no question,” Rolen said. “This is as close to home as I can be. My parents brought me here to watch ballgames. Where I’m from, there’s a St. Louis-Cincinnati split right down the middle. I’ve hit them both. I’m a Midwestern guy and like being here. I enjoyed my time in St. Louis with Walt and this part of the country. This is the spot I wanted to get back and be for a while.”
Rolen said he did approach Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi and requested a trade and hoped he’d get to go to Cincinnati.
“When I was in St. Louis, we grew comfortable in that area,” Rolen said. “I kind of took a leap of faith going to a new league, going to a new country, going to a new team. I have a four-year old and a two-year old and my wife. My parents travel around quite a bit. My brother lives in this area. I always wanted to try and finish up at home or get back to this area and this part of the country.”
Rolen has missed a lot of games over the years because of a problematic left shoulder. It was Kremchek who repaired his torn labrum.
“Perfect, no trouble at all,” Rolen said of his shoulder this season. He came into tonight batting .320 with eight homers and 43 RBIs. He also comes with a reputation of being a good guy and a leadership guy. He wasn’t ready to assume that mantle just yet in Cincinnati.
“That’s a tough one to tackle,” Rolen said. “I just got here and put on this uniform like everybody else. I will go out and compete as best I can. I think we have, as professional ballplayers, we have a responsibility and accountability to be professional on and off the field. I will go about my business and try to be the best I can be.”
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