Volquez, the Reds Opening Day starter, has made two trips to the Minors this season.
After he was only able to manage an ERA of 6.35 over his first 10 starts, Volquez was demoted to Triple-A at the end of May. Volquez quickly returned for the Reds, as the club recalled him to start a June 7th games against the Cubs.
At first it seemed like the demotion helped, as Volquez went a combined 13 innings over his next two starts while only allowing 3 earned runs on 12 hits with 10 strike outs.
But Volquez quickly reverted back to the pitcher he was at the beginning of the season. Over his next 4 starts, Volquez went only 21 innings and surrendered 17 earned runs on 25 hits and 12 walks.
Volquez was again sent down to the Minors, but this trip wouldn’t be as short as his first.
The right-hander made his 13th start at Triple-A Friday. Volquez finished his season in the Minors with a 2.37 ERA and WHIP of 1.156 while striking out 83 batters in his 87.1 innings of work.
Cincinnati hopes that, going forward, they will have the Volquez that went 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 2008 as opposed to the starter that had to be sent down twice this season.
Since starting 32 games in 2008, Volquez has only made 37 starts over the past 3 seasons. Volquez missed most of 2009 with an injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery and wasn’t able to return for the Reds until the 2010 All-Star break.
Now, after logging a combined 172.1 innings this year between the Majors and Triple-A, Cincinnati hopes that Volquez will be able to return closer to full strength in 2012.
As far as this season goes, Cincinnati has said that it will use Volquez mostly out of the bullpen. But, there is a chance that Volquez could see some starting time in place of Mike Leake, who is nearing his innings limit and will be shut down before the end of the year.
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