Results tagged ‘ Edinson Volquez ’

Volquez visa approved

Edinson Volquez got some good news. His work visa application has been approved. Volquez will have to leave camp on Sunday and return to the Dominican Republic. He has an appointment at the U.S. consulate there on Monday morning. He will be back in camp on Tuesday. His first spring start could come as soon as Wednesday but the schedule isn’t out yet.

Volquez will miss his second spring start Friday vs. the Mariners. Chad Reineke is making the start in his place. Volquez is still slated to be the Opening Day starter on March 31.

“I’m going to be ready,” Volquez said. “I’ve been facing hitters down there. I think it will be OK. When I get back, I will be ready to pitch in a real game.”

Volquez threw 50 pitches of live BP yesterday and is going to throw in the bullpen on Saturday.

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Volquez for Opening Day

Dusty Baker announced his Opening Day starter — it’s Edinson Volquez.

The top three of the rotation will be Volquez, Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto.

“You want to go hard, soft, hard,” Baker said about the style of his pitchers. “You want to break up Cueto and Volquez because you don’t want them to out and out radar gun each other.”

The other two rotation spots remain up for grabs between Homer Bailey, Travis Wood and Mike Leake.

As for the hoopla that surrounds the opener, Baker felt Volquez was equipped to handle it since nothing really bothers him. More importantly, he felt Volquez could handle facing the other club’s No. 1 starters regularly.

Opening Day is March 31 vs. the Brewers at GABP.

More quotes from Baker:

Why it’s not Arroyo as the No. 1 starter?

“I think Bronson has always leaned towards not being it. He’s more of a long-run type of guy. What’s Bronson’s ERA, [3.88]? If you’re facing No. 1’s, that equals a lot of losses. He’s fine with it. I talked to him about it. He was thinking about it this winter, he feels it’s best spot in the rotation for him too.”

Shows confidence in Volquez?

“We’re very confident in Volquez. Plus you name who you think can handle it the best. Is Homer ready for the No. 1? Is Wood ready for No. 1? Is Leake ready for No. 1? Cueto just signed a four-year contract and what’s he, 23 years old? He’s already got enough pressure on him. I’m trying to relieve any pressure from him thinking he has to prove he’s worth the money. Sometimes through the process of elimination you come up with who you think can handle the situation the best. There’s nobody looser and I think can handle the situation better than Volquez. Not much bothers him. At least he doesn’t show it bothers him.”

More on this later…


Baker: No closer controversy

The topic of Aroldis Chapman and his role for this season came up this morning in Reds manager Dusty Baker’s office. But before a certain particular question could be asked, Baker jumped in with his own proclamation.

“One thing I want to squash right now: there is no closer situation controversy,” Baker said. “I know everybody wants to be in a hurry to rush [Chapman] in there but we’ve got to get him acclimated to what he’s doing first. Cordero, even though it’s been exciting a couple of times, still was second in in our league in saves the last two years. That’s something most people overlook. There are only a couple of non-exciting closers in baseball and one of them is getting older in Mariano.”

Francisco Cordero was actually third in the NL last season with 40 saves. He had eight blown saves. Near the end of last season, Baker staunchly defended Cordero when there was clamoring for Chapman to close games with his 100-plus mph velocity.

Right now, Chapman will continue to be used in the set-up role he gradually assumed over the final month of last season.

“I plan on using him like I used him last year and we’ll see how he progresses and things,” Baker said. “We need him now more as a reliever than as a starter. The fact he’s left-handed, the fact he seems to throw more strikes and it might be easier on his arm relieving right now.”

Chapman will be speaking to reporters after the workout today and I will have more on

In other news —

*Edinson Volquez was in camp today. A emergency light flashing on his plane in the Dominican delayed him two hours and he missed his connection to Phoenix.

*Dontrelle Willis was also back after he missed yesterday because his wife was having a baby.

*Drew Stubbs arrived to the complex today.

*There were no injuries from the first day’s workout.

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28 pitchers, 6 catchers get to work

Welcome to the first day of Reds Spring Training.

Most of this morning has been about formalities for the 28 pitchers and six catchers that officially reported today. Namely, it was physicals. There were blood pressure machines and other medical equipment spread out through the player development complex.

The team is meeting at around 10:30 AZ time and the workout begins at 11 a.m.

Reporters already met with manager Dusty Baker.

“It’s the start of the race,” Baker said. “When the plane left Sacramento yesterday, that was the start of baseball season for me. You wonder when the plane comes back home and the smoke clears, where you’re going to be. It’s a long race, a lot of things can happen, a lot of changes. We think a lot of positive things are about to happen.”

I will have more from Baker later in my stories on But one thing he did say is seven to eight pitchers would be prepared as starters. Besides the main three, that would include Bailey, Leake, Wood, LeCure and Maloney.

“That’s early,” Baker said. “Then you start cutting back once you decide which guys. Health is a big issue here too. You hope it doesn’t come into play but it usually does.”

Maloney and LeCure will also be prepared for possible bullpen duties.

“They’ve been knocking on the door here,” Baker said. “If it was an organization with lesser pitching, they’d probably be in the door. This is scouting, development, and the minor league system. It starts with scouting.”

Edinson Volquez is the only one not here so far. He was due to fly in later today from the Dominican Republic. Otherwise, everyone was present and accounted for.

More later…

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Volquez signs, avoids arbitration

The Reds announced that RHP Edinson Volquez has signed a one-year contract to avoid arbitration. Terms were not revealed but when numbers were exchanged, Volquez’s side submitted for $2 million while the club countered with $1.3. The midpoint was $1.6 million.

Volquez returned from Tommy John surgery rehab after the All-Star break and was 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 62 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old walked 35 and struck out 67 batters and was also charged with four runs on four hits and was pulled after 1 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Phillies.

“We’ll see if they’re up for doing more later,” GM Walt Jocketty told me on Sunday from the Reds Caravan stop in Lexington. “We tried to do a multi-year deal. They just wanted to concentrate on the one year now. [The agent] had a few cases and wanted to get the arbitration thing out of the way.”

Renteria contract breakdown

Greetings after a week away on “Staycation.”

Although off, I got to enjoy all the trappings of last week’s snow (or white death) in Cincinnati. The school closings, the roads, the frigid temperatures, etc.

A flight to Arizona is just around the corner though.

Still waiting on the Johnny Cueto contract situation to be resolved after he appeared to agree to terms on a four-year, $27 million deal as reported by I’m also going to check in and see what’s up with Edinson Volquez.

It’s amazing that for all the heat the Reds had taken from fans for standing pat much of the off-season, they still allocated $151 million on four players in Bronson Arroyo, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Cueto. And they still could add even more with Volquez.

Add in the salaries spent on Ramon Hernandez, Miguel Cairo, Edgar Renteria and Fred Lewis and the Reds weren’t all that idle.

I have a salary breakdown that might interest you on Renteria, realizing it’s kind of late but I got it while I was out…

Base salary: $2.1 million with $600,000 deferred without interest.

Bonus opportunity:

$100,000 for 300 plate appearances
$100,000 for 350 plate appearances
$125,000 for 400 plate appearances
$150,000 for 500 plate appearances
$250,000 for 550 plate appearances
$25,000 for All-Star game
$50,000 for Gold Glove
$50,000 for Silver Slugger
$50,000 for LCS MVP
$100,000 for World Series MVP

$20,000 to be donated to the Reds Community Fund.

Basically, Renteria is being paid handsomely, but relatively modestly, to back up for Paul Janish. However, if he’s needed to step up and play regularly, he knows he will be compensated accordingly. 

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No non-tenders

Ahead of tonight’s 11:59 pm ET deadline, the Reds tendered contracts all of their players. This includes the six arbitration eligible guys — Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, Bill Bray and Jared Burton.

I had written yesterday that Burton could be a candidate for being non-tendered. I was apparently wrong.

“It’s tough to find quality arms,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “Burton was healthy at the end of the year. It’s not that much of a financial burden. It made sense to tender him.”

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Live, but delayed, from the NLDS

Apologies for the lack of blog action here today. It wasn’t the best of travel days. My original flight to Philadelphia was canceled and the rebooked flights was delayed. I got to the ballpark after the press conferences were over and simply hit the ground running on my stories.

*It was a rather chilly and rainy day Tuesday — the usual fare for postseason baseball. Fortunately there was no game today because the elements were not ideal.

*Lots of media decended on Citizens Bank Park today. It will be more than most Reds players have ever had to deal with.

*One cool thing I noticed during BP — pitcher Aaron Harang was the “bucket guy” retrieving balls hit to the outfield. It’s usually a task for the least senior starting pitcher when those guys are shagging fly balls.

*Here are some story links on that you might want to see:

Final roster isn’t decided, but there will be four lefty relievers. That could be a strength.

Edinson Volquez story

Could days off between NLDS games help Chapman?

Notebook: Votto on MVP talk

*Here are some quotes from the clubhouse today:

“The atmosphere at this ballpark is kind of second to none. I think that comes with the Phillies fans, which are very passionate about their Phillies. They will let you know they like the Phillies more than the Reds. That creates a little buzz here.” — Jonny Gomes

“It’s coming along decent. We numbed it up today and tried to do some stuff. I mostly hit inside today. We’re still waiting to make a decision. We’ll have a meeting in a little bit.” — Jim Edmonds on his right Achilles tendon

“The regular season is done and it speaks for itself. I don’t have to validate anything. I do owe it to myself, my teammates and Reds fans to play as well as I can, to compete and give it everything I can out on the ball field.” — Joey Votto on his MVP-caliber season

“The last couple of days were nice. I was sick over the last two or three weeks. We all know that when we’re sick, you really don’t consider that rest. You just try to recover and get back to normal. The last couple of days, Dusty gave me one full day off and I played half a game. I really appreciated that.” — Votto on getting breaks after the NL Central clinch

“We are so routine oriented that you don’t want to take guys out of their routine. If they listen to certain music, do it. If they go to the bath room at a certain time or eat at a certain time. At this point in the season, everybody has their own routine. Some guys play cards. Some guys just chill. Some guys watch Judge Judy, whatever they do.” — Dusty Baker on his players not getting too amped up about the playoff stage.

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NLDS rotation set

The Reds NLDS rotation, against whoever they may face is:

Game 1 — Edinson Volquez
Game 2 — Bronson Arroyo
Game 3 — Johnny Cueto

Travis Wood and Homer Bailey are available from the bullpen.

“Wood gives us potentially four lefties in the bullpen,” manager Dusty Baker said. “And both of them could be potential Game 4 or Game 5 starters if we needed them to. This was predicated upon Philadelphia initially.”

The full 25-man playoff roster has not been revealed yet but the Reds will go with 11 pitchers.

If the Reds draw the left-handed hitting heavy Phillies as originally expected, Wood would have been a potential problem for them. He took a perfect game into the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park in July.

“That was the first time they saw him, too. Not to take anything away from him,” Baker said. “They didn’t have Utley. They didn’t have Polanco. They didn’t have Ruiz. And they were scoring runs at the time. He’s a gutsy kid but he and Homer are probably the least experienced too. If we can get him a game, he’d be more prepared to start the next time if there is a next time.”

Arroyo was put between Volquez and Cueto to have a softer thrower between two power arms. Arroyo, a 17-game winner and the most veteran pitcher of the rotation, said he wasn’t disappointed about not getting Game 1.

“Either way, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me,” Arroyo said. “I’ll toe the rubber some time.”

Also — here is Sunday’s final regular season lineup

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Stubbs 8
Hernandez 2
Harang 1

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Volquez to start NLDS Game 1

 Some surprising news came down after Saturday’s 7-4 win over the Brewers

Dusty Baker revealed Aaron Harang would start the regular season finale instead of Edinson Volquez. Why is that? It’s because Volquez was named the Game 1 starter for the NLDS.

“He’s coming on pretty strong,” Baker said. “He’s been especially good against lefties. The Phillies have a lot of lefties.”

Volquez was surprised when he was told on Friday.

“It’s an honor for me,” Volquez said. “For me it’s big because I was out for one year and came back from Tommy John [surgery]. This is the first game of the playoffs, it’s big time.”

With Roy Halladay starting for the Phillies, the Reds’ expected opponent, this decision gives the Reds a power arm to match.

In four starts since his recall from Dayton, Volquez is 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA. He has eight walks and 31 strikeouts. His power-armed velocity has regularly reached the 95-96 mph range.

More later on

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