KC Royals Fantasy Heroes: Edinson Volquez Shuts Down Yankees


The KC Royals are atop the American League Central standings at 24-14 in large part to newly acquired Edinson Volquez.

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The 11-year veteran, who pitched for Texas, Cincinnati, San Diego, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh before signing with Kansas City this season, has been the Royals most consistent starter.

His 3-3 record is a bit misleading considering he also sports a 2.74 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Five of his nine starts have been of the quality variety, and his latest effort Sunday against the New York Yankees was his best yet.

Volquez went seven innings, yielded just three hits, walked none and recorded five strikeouts in a 6-0 home victory.

It was a a good sign considering the outing before was one of his lesser efforts of the season (five innings, six hits, four earned runs and three walks in a 7-6 victory at Texas).

Volquez had his second-best season of his career last year with Pittsburgh (13-7, 3.04 ERA), but he is just 68-62 in his career, and $10 million per year looked to be a bit of a risk.

However, it has paid off handsomely for the Royals. Among regular starters, Volquez is tied for the team lead in wins (3), and is first in strikeouts (38), WAR (0.2), ERA and WHIP.

Manager Ned Yost was impressed with his outing Sunday. In an Associated Press article he praised his number two starter.

"“He was fantastic. He had all kinds of movement and action on his fastball,” Yost said. “For the most part, if Eddie’s executing his pitches, he’s going to be very good.”"

It’s no secret KC’s starting rotation has struggled as a whole this season, and Volquez was a small part of the problem prior to his latest outing.

In his previous two starts he went a total of eight innings, had a 7.88 ERA, and walked nine batters while striking out just six, ironically picking up the victory in both outings.

However, it’s baseball and even the best struggle at times. Volquez’s ERA is just 1.75 in his seven other starts. During that time he has allowed just eight runs.

It’s great to see him back on track, and hopefully the Royals starting staff is moving that way as well. Although The KC Star’s Andy McCullough reported that Yost said if he doesn’t see improvement from Danny Duffy he could go back to the bullpen, there are encouraging signs.

In addition to Volquez, Chris Young has been masterful (1 ER, 16.2 innings) in three starts after beginning the season in the bullpen, and Jeremy Guthrie’s best two starts this season have been his last two.

It’s possible general manager Dayton Moore adds an arm during the season, but for now it’s good to know that signing Volquez looks to be a good move.

His next game on the hill is against MLB’s best team so far this season, the St. Louis Cardinals, May 24 at home.

KC Fans, you’ll want to see that one.

*All stats compiled from ESPN.com or baseball-reference.com.

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