That completely SEO-unfriendly headline is in response to this…
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 29, 2013
So here we are, talking about a terrible pitcher for some reason. Volquez was released by the Padres a few days ago, and that’s a team that gave 11 starts to Clayton Richard (7.01 ERA / 6.53 FIP) and three more to someone called Burch Smith (11.37 ERA / 7.45 FIP). The Padres arguably have the worst starting rotation in baseball — so bad, that when Jason Marquis got hurt, it actually qualified as a problem — and even they said “you know what? Why don’t you just hit the road,” because when you get bounced after just 0.2 inning like he did against the Cubs five days ago, that’s not great.
That’s how bad he’s been, and that’s what happens when you’re mixing your usual control problems with a decreased ability to miss bats. Volquez’ swinging-strike percentage is down to 8.6%, the worst it’s been for him since back in 2007 with Texas. His velocity is down below 93 for the first time in his career, and he’s only really had one season in his career (2008) where he’s been both healthy and good, and WHY AM I ANALYZING EDINSON VOLQUEZ LIKE HE’S ANYTHING BUT AWFUL.
Unfortunately, the minor league season ends in less than a week, so everyone squawking about “why isn’t it a minor league deal like with Jonathan Sanchez” is a bit off base. What this says to me is a whole lot more about how the team views the struggling Chris Capuano and the uncertain Stephen Fife than it does anything else, because if you’re willing to take a chance on a guy like this and put him right on the roster, it means that you are incredibly unhappy with what you have.
So really, the only thing keeping me sane here is that this almost certainly doesn’t matter. Capuano is terrible, and Fife can’t be counted on, and Volquez is terrible too, probably moreso than any of them. With 29 games left, the Dodgers have a nine game lead, and so the fifth starter gets, what, five starts, at most? Maybe? Start Capuano, start Volquez, call up Matt Magill or Zach Lee or even Sanchez… it almost certainly doesn’t matter. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.