After Reds manager Dusty Baker hinted earlier this week that Edinson Volquez could be removed from the starting rotation earlier this week, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reported this afternoon that he was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday.
According to the team’s Twitter feed, Travis Wood will start against the Cubs on Sunday while Homer Bailey faces the Brewers on Monday. In other words, the struggling Volquez is at minimum being skipped. With Aaron Harang expected to return from the disabled list Tuesday, he could be losing his spot in the starting rotation altogether.
Yesterday, I mentioned how several pitchers have enjoyed success after Tommy John surgery. It was a selective list, to be sure, as we also see pitchers who can be somewhat erratic post-op. Command has never been Volquez’s strong suit to begin with, but he has a disturbing 6.17 ERA and 36/27 K/BB over 35 innings since returning from the disabled list last month. With the Reds trying to hang on in the National League Central, this is no time to mess around.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.