The Kansas City Royals have had their fair share of problems this season, but fans would not have predicted Edinson Volquez to be one of those problems.
This time last year, Kansas City Royals fans were gushing over starting pitcher Edinson Volquez. He consistently went out and gave the Royals five or six innings and usually only gave up a few runs in the process.
Volquez would keep his team in the game, and came through big time during the playoffs. His World Series outings were most impressive, and it seemed like a no brainer that Volquez would be the number one guy come opening day.
Instead, the 2016 season has been a tough one for Volquez. He’s currently sporting a 5.04 ERA in 26 starts and has just looked mediocre at best this season.
A few days ago, I wrote a piece proclaiming that the team should bring Volquez back for 2017 on a qualifying offer. The main reason for that was due to the lack of other talent out there, but watching how poorly Volquez has looked this season, it might be time to reconsider that one.
A lot has changed in these past few weeks. Danny Duffy has become the left-handed ace that Kansas City was hoping he could become. Yordano Ventura is feeding off Duffy’s performances by twirling his own gems. Ian Kennedy is proving to be a great third option in the rotation (let’s ignore the contract, okay?).
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With all of that said, Volquez then sits squarely at the fourth spot in the rotation. If the team brought him back on a qualifying offer, they’d be paying the guy $16 million to be the number four guy in the rotation (and that’s depending on how Jason Vargas looks next season – Volquez could even be the fifth guy!). That just doesn’t seem to make any sense.
Hell, even Dillon Gee has looked better than Eddie over his last few starts, and his ERA is lower (though it is worth noting that Gee has only started in ten games and appeared in 25 total). I’m not saying that Gee is better than Volquez overall, but in his last few starts, he certainly has been.
It sucks that Volquez isn’t pitching like his 2015 self, but it’s not surprising. He’s 33 years old and has tossed just under 1,395 innings during his 12-year career.
Starting pitchers slow down and when they hit that wall, it’s usually not pretty afterwards. Is Edinson Volquez nearing the end of his MLB career?
What do you think, Royals nation? Would you still want the team to extend a qualifying offer to Volquez or is it time for the team to look elsewhere for a fourth starter in the rotation?