Volquez has 'TJ' surgery

Reds starting pitcher Edinson Volquez had “Tommy John” surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament and torn flexor mass in his right elbow. Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek performed the 90-minute procedure on Monday morning

That means Volquez could miss up to 12 months, which wouldn’t have him pitching again until late into the 2010 season.

On Friday, Volquez had to shut down a simulated game 20 pitches into what was to be an 80-pitch session when he complained of tightness in his elbow. He had previously thrown four bullpen sessions without incident.

Obviously, this puts a huge dent in the Reds’ plans for their rotation in 2010.

Last season, the 26-year-old Volquez threw a career high 196 innings for Cincinnati. He also pitched in one start and one relief appearance in Dominican winter ball last winter and three innings in one start for the D.R. in the World Baseball Classic. 

Volquez’s previous professional high in inning was 178 2/3 innings in 2007 with the Rangers organization.

 UPDATE: Reds manager Dusty Baker wasn’t prepared to assign blame that Volquez’s winter activity and the WBC contributed to his injury.

“Any time you do an unnatural act like throwing overhand, you risk something every time you pick up the ball,” Baker said. “I don’t know if anybody knows to say that exactly. The timing wasn’t real good to be thought of as part of the equation.”

It was learned that Volquez didn’t follow his off-season throwing program, as assigned by pitching coach Dick Pole. The team was told to limit Volquez to 50 pitches. He threw 99.

“They were playing [Johnny] Cueto’s team. That’s how I found out about it,” Pole said. “I know the guy that was taking care of Cueto and that he would do what I asked him to do.”

“It’s a lot of throwing. That Baseball Classic, there weren’t too many guys that repeated from the first time they did it and went back and pitched the second time. They knew the rigors of getting ready for that thing early.”

The two MRIs that Volquez since going on DL did not reveal the tears.

Kremchek didn’t make the decision to do the Tommy John surgery over the less invasive arthroscopic procedure until he could take a look inside the elbow. The situation was about as serious as these types of injuries can be.

“Not only was the flexor mass torn like we thought, there was also a tear in the ligament,” head trainer Mark Mann said. “It was almost completely torn.”

That means it was about as serious as these types of injuries can become.

“He will come back, I think, and pitch at some point next year in the second half,” Mann said. “But it will most likely be 2011 before you see the old Edinson Volquez.”

10 Comments

awful news!!!

If you can imagine just for a moment that Volquez never injured his elbow… we could add at least 10 wins to our current status and we wouldn’t look so bad. Sad to say that Volquez will never have another season like 2008. The only player that I can think of off of the top of my head that had better stuff after Tommy John surgery was well Tommy John. Edinson was no Jose Rijo or Tom Browning but he had some great stuff.
I have been critical of management all year and now I’m feeling a bit guilty now that I realize just how devastated our team has become from injuries. In trading away Manual and Roenicke well I think it is safe to say that our strength is probably in the number of middle relief pitchers we have throughout our farm system and they were easily dispensed without affecting the current team or Louisville who is having a tremendous season.

Gack! Will this nightmare never end?!?

What else is their to say about this dreadful season? Nothing has really went well for more than a day. Now that Volquez is down and out until 2011, we are in real trouble. Unlike what some people think though, the Scott Rolen deal was the right thing to do. Eddie was lazy, not moving fast enough toward what they always were waiting for from him, his potential which never came, at least in Cincy. We gave up nothing in Eddie, and the young single A pitcher we gave up is far away from the Big’s, that is if he ever makes it. Josh has for sure a great arm, but that is the price you pay for a leader in the club house, 7 time gold glover, hitting .320 when he arrived on Saturday. How many guys that are in the Reds lineup today that are hitting .320, just one? Most are hitting .220. We have someone at third that will make the proper plays now, not throw the ball in 9 different directions over to first, and Rolen will help in many areas with the youth also. Myself, I think this was a great move. If Jock can go out and find a power hitter this winter, to go along with Bruce and whoever else will be slotted lets say in centerfield like lets say Dickerson instead of Taveras, we are now another step closer to becoming a winner again. I am hoping that Alex will start hitting again, he is probably the top defensive SS in the league, but no bat at this time. We might need to move Alex for a better hitting SS in the future. We might just have that on the bench right now. HEY FANS, be patient, I was for 16 years until we finally won it all in 1975. GO BIG RED MACHINE….Sorry, I was dreaming for a moment.

Hey, Mark: Can the Reds sue the Dominican Republic team he played for during the winter? Because if they knew he was throwing more than he was supposed to, they need to be held accountable for allowing him to do that…

I’ve thought about that too, redsrock. I do not know the answer.

Volquez gets the worst news possible. Rolen 0-6, then severely plunked on the skull. Taveras is lethal in the leadoff. He’s killing us with his pathetic grounders to first base. Walt can’t make a trade that doesn’t set us back to the age of the dinosaurs. Dusty can’t make a decision that doesn’t obliterate any hope for some momentum. Two wins in a row seem unimaginable with Dusty at the helm, let alone one win in a row. Welcome to Demolition Redlegs. We’ve been annihilated to pixie stardust. Poof. All hopes flattened. The art of disintegration. Welcome to the cellar dwelling dungeon of despair.

lmao… I wonder if brass still thinks we can make a comeback. I’m as optimistic as they get, but I’m also not an idiot.

No, RR, you are not an idiot. You kept the faith when others were bailing or never got on board to begin with. And yet, here we are. I think what bothers me most is that the so-called plan hasn’t worked, and yet there’s no new plan. Where’s the speed, where’s the defense? Where’s the OBP you need for small ball? And in the absence of speed, defense and OBP, where’s the power? This reminds of the awful year in the 80’s when Ron Oester led the team in RBI’s with something like 70.

So, is the team developing speed-defensive-OBP guys, or not? What is the plan? Even Pittsburgh looks more decisive than the Reds.

I don’t see a clear-cut plan either. One thing for sure, though, injuries have REALLY played their part in poisoning our season. I’m not saying that’s the sole reason why we are where we are, but it certainly didn’t help. Bruce, Votto, B-Phil, Gonzo, Volquez, (Cueto???), Masset, Owings, Hanigan (for a short time), Hernandez, Dickerson…. I mean jesus. Cut us some slack…
But yeah, this season has been very disappointing. And for me, it’s most disappointing because we started out so well. We had our best start to the season in a number of years… yet there is a very good chance we’ll end up in last place, in a division where there are six total teams. That doesn’t make sense. It shouldn’t happen. Not after the amazing start we had.

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