Cincinnati Reds: Is Edinson Volquez the Weakest Link?

Tim DanielContributor IIIMay 12, 2011

HOUSTON - MAY 11:  Pitcher Edinson Volquez #36 of the Cincinnati Reds throws against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 11, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

It seems like every time Edinson Volquez starts to turn the corner, writers such as myself jump the gun to say he's coming back, and then sure enough, Volquez never fails to take a step back.

To call this season a roller coaster ride for Volquez is an understatement.  Obviously there is the first inning issue, but it seems that has been fixed. As of late, he has been keeping his head above water and even letting batters get away.

Look at yesterday's game versus the Houston Astros.  Edinson threw four innings and gave up five walks along with three earned runs.  Not to mention, he threw 88 pitches in those four innings pitched.

On the last road trip we saw the Reds' starters look unstoppable.  Bronson Arroyo threw seven-and-one-third innings, giving up just one run; Johnny Cueto threw six shutout innings in is first start of the season; Travis Wood threw six-and-two-thirds innings of shutout baseball and Homer Bailey threw an additional seven shutout innings.

Volquez on the other hand has not kept up with his fellow starters. In his two starts on the road trip Edinson threw nine innings total with six runs, nine walks and just six strikeouts.  He'll have to thank the Reds' offense for helping him pick up the win against Chicago and bailing him out of a loss to the Astros.

So yes, I think Edinson Volquez has in fact become the weak link of the Reds' starting rotation.  This is the guy we trust as our ace, our opening day starter and the leader of our rotation. shows his record as 3-1. Certainly the record looks great, but it's that ERA of 5.74, only 42.1 innings pitched and 33 walks that have really put the Reds in an uphill battle just about every game he has started.

How much longer can Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty wait for him to turn it around and become the guy we traded Josh Hamilton for?  Let's not forget his two-thirds innings he pitched in San Fransisco last year—oh, and the one-and-two-thirds he threw against the Phillies in Game 1 of the NLDS last year.

To think, the Reds wanted him to sign a four-year deal.

What do you all think?