With hard work, Volquez finding his stride
PITTSBURGH -- The reclamation of Edinson Volquez is starting to pay dividends for the Pirates. Volquez was signed in the offseason to a one-year, $5 million contract with the hopes that pitching coach Ray Searage could help him return to the form he flashed in his first year in Cincinnati in 2008, when he won 17 games with a 3.21 ERA and was named an All-Star.
Searage has a track record of helping veterans find their stride, including A.J. Burnett when he joined the Pirates two years ago and last season with lefty Francisco Liriano.
After a rough Spring Training in which he posted a 9.64 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP in five games (14 innings), Volquez has been solid. He won his first game in a Pirates uniform on Thursday night, tossing seven innings -- his longest outing of the season -- and allowing two runs on eight hits.
"I'm very proud of him," Searage said of Volquez. "He's really worked hard, especially when we started the season up here, too, and his bullpens have been so disciplined. It's really a pleasant surprise to watch how he goes to work in the 'pen to prepare for his next start.
In four games (three starts) Volquez is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 21 innings.
"We've been working, and [the] two biggest changes are keeping my front side closed and stay tall on my back leg," Volquez said. "We've been doing a pretty good job with that, and everybody's been seeing now the way I've been pitching."
"He's making it happen," Searage said. "He's the one that's doing all the work; all the credit goes to him. The suggestions we put out there, he took it and he soaked it up like a sponge, and he's going to town right now."