Edinson Volquez was released by the Padres on Tuesday after posting a 6.01 ERA in 142 1/3 innings this year, but it didn’t take long to find a new team.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the 30-year-old right-hander has agreed to a major league contract — pending a physical — with the Dodgers. He will make the major league minimum, with the Padres covering the large majority of what remains from his $5.725 million player salary for 2013.
Volquez had a breakout year for the Reds in 2008, registering a 3.21 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 196 innings and finishing fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year ballotting. But he has a 4.98 ERA (76 ERA+) in 100 starts since the beginning of the 2009 season and seems doubtful to suddenly figure it out in Los Angeles.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.