Edinson Volquez is ahead of schedule. In fact, Reds manager Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he is tentatively penciled in to face the Mets on July 7.
“That’s what I’ve got on my (schedule), barring setbacks,” Dusty Baker
said. “We want to make sure he’s ready when he gets here.”
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said that the Reds may give him an extra day or two, but that a return before the All-Star break is possible.
Volquez, who underwent Tommy John surgery last August, has tossed eight scoreless innings over his first two minor league rehab starts with Class A Lynchburg, topping out at 97 mph on the radar gun. According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, it is anticipated that he will only require four more rehab starts before a return from the disabled list.
In case you were curious, Volquez served his 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs while he was on the DL. Pretty sweet deal.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.