Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Volquez gets a second life, but will it last?

As the Dodgers get ready for another game in Coors Field, one day after overcoming a rare clunker from Clayton Kershaw for the 10-8 win, Dodgers beat writer Ken Gurnick confirmed that newcomer Edinson Volquez will get the start on Wednesday.

After being castoff by the lowly Padres with a 6.01 ERA in 27 starts, there's really no better way for him to make a great impression than by pitching well in Colorado.

And if you're Volquez, you know that time is ticking.  He can't afford to have many, or ANY, more bad starts.

With just under a month left in the regular season before the do-or-die postseason of October hits, Volquez is in direct competition with Chris Capuano for the #5 spot.  Capuano has been about as hit or miss as one can possibly get, but he is coming off a hit by tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the Padres on Saturday.  Before that was four straight misses in which he wasn't scorched, but didn't pitch past the fifth in any of them.

Even with that positive start, it's a telling sign that Don Mattingly is giving Volquez a chance to see what he can do.  Capuano's own inconsistency is what caused this to happen, as it's not like anyone is claiming that Volquez is so much better.  In fact, his numbers are much worse.

In three starts this season in Colorado, Volquez has been flat out awful.  He's 0-2 with a 14.92 ERA in 12 2/3 innings, and the Rockies are hitting .439 against him.  Ouch.  I think it's safe to say the Rockies are much happier to see him on the mound than Hyun-Jin Ryu, who will be pushed to Friday in Cincinnati.

I think it's also safe to say that Mattingly knows there might not be much of a difference between Volquez and Capuano making the start, so why not see if Volquez can step up?  Maybe it's not entirely fair to Volquez, but then again, when you have a 5.97 ERA, it's hard to be picky about where you get a chance to start.  Hopefully he looks at this as the ultimate opportunity to show he has something left.

If he falls victim to Coors Field as so many others have, then who knows if he'll get another chance to start.  I can possibly see him getting one more, but that's it.

Or maybe if he does stink, he should just walk down to the bullpen before the start of each game, and get ready for the long relief role.

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