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.
The Braves released veteran infielder/outfielder Jose Bautista on Sunday, per a team announcement. Right-hander Lucas Sims was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett in a corresponding move.
Bautista, 37, was recruited by the Braves in mid-April as a potential third base option. He inked a minor league deal with the club and lasted just 12 games in the majors, during which he batted a meager .143/.250/.343 with three extra-base hits and a .593 OPS across 40 plate appearances. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the big leagues — he collected 40 home runs, a .250 average and 5.3 fWAR with the Blue Jays in 2015 — his power has been noticeably declining over the last three years, and it’s clear the Braves don’t have enough time or opportunity to wait for him to get his groove back.
Without Bautista, Johan Camargo is expected to handle the hot corner on a daily basis. The 24-year-old infielder is working through his sophomore season at the major league level and entered Sunday’s game batting .226/.368/.403 with six extra bases and a .772 OPS in 76 PA. General manager Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged that top infield prospect Austin Riley could also get a shot at playing third base sometime in 2018, though the club has no current plans to promote him from Triple-A at the moment.