Edinson Volquez throws successfully off a mound

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volquez cap.JPGEdinson 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.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.