Are the Pittsburgh Pirates about to do the unthinkable?
Is this organization, known recently for finding buried treasure on the pitching mound, going to be the club that turns Edinson Volquez back into a useful major league pitcher -- or something more?
How meticulous are the Pirates in their research? With help from Volquez's agent, Lenny Strelitz, [special assistant to the GM Jim Benedict] tracked down video of Volquez as a 16-year-old in the Dominican -- and more video from each subsequent season. When the Pirates signed Volquez, they sat him down and gave him a video crash course in self-awareness.
Placed side-by-side with the pristine old video, the new clips were an eye-opener. The Pirates found that Volquez had begun rushing his delivery and was throwing his fastball more with his front side than the back. The more he rushed, the more his right arm dragged. "That's from trying too hard," [pitching guru Ray Searage] said. And the more people he listened to, the more he lost sight of what made him good in the first place.
More fixes to Volquez's delivery can be found here. Such revisions could cut down his walks drastically -- and boy, does he need such a tinkering. His dominance peripherals have been great, but when you walk everyone and their grandma, they don't take you far.
A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton, numerous bullpen gems ... Is Volquez next to be saved? It's becoming clearer that Volquez has gotten the necessary Midas treatment to make another run at fantasy relevance. Now that Jameson Taillon (Tommy John surgery) won't be available until next year, Volquez will have an extended trial.
NL-only players should ink him immediately. Deep-mixed players with a roster spot to burn shouldn't shy away. Neal Huntington and company look like they're on to something … again.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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