A huge blow was hit to the Reds this week as Edinson Volquez underwent Tommy John surgery today and it was reported that his UCL ligament was “almost completely torn”. Given the timing of the surgery, Volquez should be able to return in some form next season, but beyond just the immediate return, it is not unusual for pitchers to need more time to fully regain their velocity and command to pre-injury levels. Thus, Volquez’s ability to meaningfully contribute to the 2010 Reds season is in serious doubt now.
Volquez was a four win pitcher last season, but struggled mightily with his command this season. Whereas he had previously hung around 48 to 49% of his pitches inside the strike zone, this year that fell to just 41%, a massive drop and a level not conducive to any kind of sustained success. That was the primary culprit behind Volquez’s increase in walk rate, to nearly six per nine.
If Volquez is able to return to the command he displayed in 2007 he could come back to being a big piece of the Reds’ playoff hopes, but that is not going to happen in 2010. How does the Scott Rolen trade look now to the front office?
The diagnosis and surgery came about two months after Volquez was placed on the disabled list with soreness in his elbow. He was cleared to throw twice and had even made it through bullpen sessions to the point of a simulated game before being shut down for good. Given the reported extent of the tear, one has to wonder if an MRI done initially in June would not have revealed the tear in a more minor state and saved the Reds at least a couple months of rehab time, if not many more.
Print This Post