It’s rare that a baseball team dumps its Opening Day starter in the middle of a season, but that’s just what the San Diego Padres did on Saturday. The Padres designated Edinson Volquez for assignment which means he’s more than likely done with the franchise. The team now has 10 days to release him.
Volquez was San Diego’s Opening Day starter in each of the past two seasons and is in the middle of a horrific season. The Padres had been very patient with him, hoping he could turn things around, but if anything, he has just gotten worse. Volquez has a record of 9-10, but among pitchers who qualify, the 30-year-old hurler has a National League-worst ERA of 6.01, and boasts the NL’s worst WHIP of 1.67.
He has also surrendered a ridiculous 69 walks in 142.1 innings, only Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke has issued more free passes with 72. Volquez’s WAR of -2.4 is also the worst among all pitchers in baseball.
On Friday night, Volquez allowed six runs in just two-thirds of an inning against the Chicago Cubs, and that was apparently the last straw for the Padres.
The hard-throwing righty has several strikes working against him around baseball, since he has already undergone Tommy John surgery once, and was also suspended 50 games for violating Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy in 2010. Volquez has outstanding stuff, but the guy just can’t throw strikes and seems to lose focus at key points when he’s on the mound.
I would bet someone will take a chance on Volquez next season with a minor league contract in the hope that he might turn his career around. After all, he’s the same guy who posted a 17-6 record and a 3.21 ERA during an All-Star season with the Cincinnati Reds in 2008.
Volquez arrived in San Diego as part of the trade that sent Mat Latos to the Reds. The Padres also received Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal and Brad Boxberger in that deal.