Elbow soreness ended his 2009 season, however, and Volquez had Tommy John surgery in August. Incredibly enough, he seems to be months ahead of schedule in his recovery, and he'll likely start for the first-place Reds at home this weekend.
Volquez is only 27 percent-owned in Yahoo! leagues at the moment. That's a ridiculously low number, considering the stats the righty posted during six minor league rehab appearances: 4-0, 31.0 IP, 1.45 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 28 Ks. Add him now, while you can still stash him on your fantasy DL.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Volquez's recovery from surgery has been his enhanced velocity. Details here, via the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay:
Volquez's stuff overall may be better. He hit 97 mph numerous times during his rehab starts. Volquez was a hard thrower before the surgery, but he didn't reach 97.
There's nothing about ligament-replacement surgery that would make a pitcher throw harder. But Dr. Tim Kremchek, who did Volquez's surgery, has a theory on why Volquez is throwing harder.
"He's a guy with great natural ability," Kremchek said. "He's always been able to throw hard. The surgery takes the pain away. Then during the rehab, he worked on getting his core strong, getting his shoulder strong.
"He never had to do those things before."
Note to young pitchers: If you ever need a little maintenance performed, consider Dr. Kremchek. Rapid return, better radar readings.
Volquez allowed just one hit over seven innings in his most recent appearance at Triple-A Louisville. Find room for him if he's still lurking in the FA pool.
Photo via US Presswire