Edinson Volquez underwent Tommy John surgery last August and is expected to miss the entire 2010 season. But on Sunday, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, he took a major step in his ongoing recovery from the elbow ligament replacement surgery.
Volquez, 26, threw 30 pitches off a mound at about 50 percent intensity and plans to attempt 45 throws later this week. He will remain at the Reds’ spring training complex when the rest of the team heads north in about 10 days and has a long recovery road yet to travel, but it’s great to hear that he has avoided setbacks thus far. Volquez was 4-2 last season with a 4.35 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in nine starts and is the proud owner of a 24-19 record over his first five major league seasons. Cincinnati could certainly use him this year, and perhaps they’ll get him back by late August.
Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.
Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.
Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.