Edinson Volquez has had a nightmarish spring, allowing 13 runs (11 earned) on 14 hits and five walks while striking out eight. Three of those hits are home runs. The right-hander just hasn’t been the same since a breakout 2008 season with the Reds, when he finished with a 3.21 ERA in 196 innings.
Still, Volquez is very likely to wind up at the back of the Pirates’ starting rotation, according to GM Neal Huntington, via Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. As a result, lefty Jeff Locke will either move to the bullpen or return to Triple-A Indianapolis.
The Pirates announced on Wednesday that the club acquired infielder Erik González along with minor league pitchers Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza in exchange for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.
González, 27, is quite versatile, having played all four infield positions as well as both outfield corners. He has just a .681 career OPS across 275 plate appearances in the big leagues, though. González will provide infield depth for the Pirates, who are losing Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer.
Thomas, 19, completed his second season at rookie ball. He pitched 19 2/3 innings, yielding 10 earned runs on 13 hits and 10 walks with 27 strikeouts.
Mendoza, 19, also just completed his second season at rookie ball. The right-hander pitched 37 1/3 innings, allowing 19 earned runs on 33 hits and 20 walks with 37 strikeouts.
Luplow, 25, has played 64 games in the big leagues as an outfielder, mustering a paltry .644 OPS in 190 plate appearances.
Moroff, 25, has played second base, third base, and short stop in the majors. He carries a career .625 OPS in 209 trips to the plate.