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Edinson Volquez thinks he’s tipping his pitches

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Edinson Volquez had another awful start last night, allowing eight runs in 4.1 innings against the Rockies, and afterward the Padres right-hander told reporters that he thinks he’s been tipping pitches:

I don’t know what it is. They looked like they knew every pitch that was coming. Today I felt as good as I have all season. They have something on me. Maybe I am tipping my pitches. I have to look at the tape to see what it is.

Volquez indicated that the Rockies in particular seem to have a read on what he’s going to throw and he’s been knocked around for 21 earned runs in 12.2 innings at Coors Field this season. Of course, as Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes Volquez has an 8.39 ERA in Colorado for his career, which includes seven starts.

It’s also worth noting that even if you remove Volquez’s terrible numbers at Coors Field this season his overall ERA stands at 4.86 in 124 innings. In other words, he might be tipping pitches against the Rockies but he’s also been simply terrible against everyone else. And it’s not just this season. Volquez hasn’t posted an ERA below 4.00 since 2008 and has a combined 4.91 ERA in 540 innings during that time. That’s a lot of pitch-tipping.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.