Edinson’s Evolution

Last night Edinson Volquez came out for the first time since 2008 without looking like he was hunting the California governor, Apollo Creed, and Danny Glover. I was curious as to his stats with and without the mop top, so here’s my in depth analysis of the Edinson Volquez hair debate (complete with photos).

This photo was taken in June of 2008 when Edinson made a start in New York against the Yankees. As you can see, no dreadlocks.

Up to that point he was 9-1 as a starter (9-2 overall with the 1,000 inning San Diego game) posting these stats:

9-2 15 G 14 GS 88 IP 21 R 16 ER 59 H 44 BB 105 K 1.64 ERA 1.17 WHIP 10 QS

Here he is in December of ’08 at Redsfest after having a great season. He was the Reds lone representative to the All-Star game and finished 4th in Rookie of the Year voting with the following line:

17-6 33 G 32 GS 196 IP 82 R 70 ER 167 H 93 BB 206 K 3.21 ERA 1.33 WHIP 19 QS

You can start to see his hair is wild and starting to become short dreadlocks.

This picture is a bit blurry, but this is the final game Volquez pitched in 2009. It was a June game in St. Louis where he lasted only an inning giving up 1 run. He then was replaced by Mike Lincoln and it came out several days later that he would need Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his season. You can clearly see that his dreadlocks have now blossomed to near shoulder length. Be it the dreads, or the injury he posted less than stellar numbers in 2009:

4-2 49.2 9 G 9 GS 49.2 IP 25 R 24 ER 34 H 32 BB 47 K 4.35 ERA 1.34 ERA 3 QS

He came back in July of 2010 with the dreadlocks in full force. He had a stellar 1st performance against the Colorado Rockies, 6.0 IP 1 R 1 ER 3 H 2 BB 9 K. This is a shot from his second game back against the Washington Nationals where he was quite the opposite, 2.1 IP 6 R 6 ER 5 H 4 BB 4 K.

I didn’t see EV again until September 28th (that date ringing any bells to anyone?) where he was still navigating his way through a murky come back from Tommy John surgery which had included a demotion straight from the majors to Single-A Dayton. He had posted this line in the majors up until that game:

11 G 11 GS 56.2 IP 28 R 28 ER 52 H 34 BB 59 K 4.48 ERA 1.53 WHIP 7 QS

He pitched pretty well in that game, but ended up with a no decision as the game went down to the last at-bat (Enter Jay Bruce).

So then he shows up on Opening Day 2011 looking like this:

Even after problems with his work visa stemming from his suspension for testing positive to PED’s in early 2010 caused him to miss most of spring training, he was named the Opening Day starter. You may recall he was unimpressive then and continued to underwhelm to the tune of 10 G 10 GS 51 IP 38 R 36 ER 47 H 38 BB 53 K 6.35 ERA 1.67 WHIP 2 QS until again, just like in 2010, he was demoted to the minors. Only to Triple-A Louisville this time, but he was sent down for 2 starts with the Bats and recalled to pitch last night where he showed up like this:

Photo courtesy of John Fay

He went out last night and pitched stellar:

7 IP 1 R 1 ER 7 H 2 BB 5 K 1.29 ERA 1.29 WHIP QS

So, what was the final verdict?

With Dreads: 163.1 IP 93 R 90 ER 140 H 105 BB 167 K 4.97 ERA 1.50 WHIP 13 QS

Without Dreads: 203 IP 83 R 71 ER 174 H 95 BB 211 K 3.15 ERA 1.33 WHIP 20 QS

Needless to say, I think all of Reds Country can agree that this Edinson needs to stay.

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