Volquez getting close

Edinson Volquez is moving up to Triple-A Louisville to make his next rehab assignment start. Volquez pitched five scoreless innings for Class A Lynchburg against Kinston on Thursday. He allowed one hit with no walks and four strikeouts. He retired his first 11 batters in a row and reportedly reached 97 mph on the radar gun.

Volquez has three hits over eight scoreless innings in two starts for Lynchburg. He hasn’t walked a batter and struck out seven.

“The no walks are what’s big. I’d say he’s coming along quickly,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

GM Walt Jocketty figured Volquez had four more starts in the Minors. That could put him back with the Reds as soon as July 7.

“We may give him an extra day [of rest] once or twice,” Jocketty said. “We’ll just keep progressing him. We’ll keep increasing his pitch count more each time.”

It’s highly likely that Volquez will go into the Reds rotation and not work from the bullpen when he’s ready.

“That’s the best I think for him and us in the long run,” Baker said. “We’ve got some decisions to make when that happens. Those are good decisions to make. When he does come back, that’s like making a major trade getting a top-flight, quality All-Star, which he was.”

*Lefty reliever Bill Bray had another scoreless inning of relief with one allowed for Louisville on Thursday. Bray has 7 2/3 innings of scoreless work for Lynchburg and Louisville. A call-up to the big leagues was not immiment. He has only three games in Louisville so far.

“He probably needs a few more times out,” Jocketty said.

*The Reds are facing LHP Cliff Lee Friday. A free agent at season’s end with a struggling Seattle club, Lee is going to be a prime cog in the wheel of trade rumors this summer. Some outlets have already speculated that Cincinnati could be a fit because the club is contending and has a depth of prospects.

“We haven’t discussed it,” Jocketty said of Lee. “We’ll do what we can to improve our club. We’re looking at pitching. I don’t know how many bullets we’re going to have, so we’ll have to be careful how we use them. With Volquez coming back and Chapman — Wood is still down there and pitching well, and Maloney.”

*SS Orlando Cabrera has been bothered by a sore right ankle since he had contact with Josh Willingham during the Nationals series earlier this month. Cabrera is 3-for-his-last 25 (.120)

“I don’t think it will be a DL thing,” Cabrera said. “If it comes to the point where I need to take a rest for a couple of days, I will. It’s not to that point.”

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Mark I think you ought to check the number of strikeouts for Volquez’s last outing.

There you go. LOL

Thanks for noticing — I had a typo there.

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