Edinson Volquez was demoted to Triple-A two weeks ago and yesterday general manager Walt Jocketty told Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer that “there is no timetable” for his return to the Reds.
Through two starts at Triple-A he has an 8/5 K/BB ratio in 12 innings and Volquez allowed five runs in six innings there Sunday, causing Jocketty to say that “he’ll return when we’re satisfied that he’s accomplished and improved on the things we sent him down to work on.”
In other words, it’ll be a while.
Volquez started for the Reds on Opening Day, but posted a 5.93 ERA with an 85/55 K/BB ratio in 85 innings spread over 16 starts and this is his second demotion to the minors of 2011. Of course, you can set aside all the numbers and still accurately convey the Reds’ frustration level with Volquez by simply noting that they replaced him in the rotation with Dontrelle Willis.
Since a breakout 2008 season that saw him go 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 206 strikeouts Volquez has one Tommy John elbow surgery and a 5.02 ERA in 197 innings.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.