In starting pitcher Edinson Volquez‘s first four games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014, the righty went 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA.  

Suddenly, it looked like the Pirates made a great decision in signing him to a one-year deal during the offseason.  

In his next five, however, he took the loss in four of those games while surrendering 22 earned runs in 18.2 innings.  

He then won two straight decisions in his next three starts, putting him one game under .500 with a 3-4 record.  

After a loss on June 7 to the Milwaukee Brewers, Volquez bounced back and pitched brilliantly in his next start, shutting out the Chicago Cubs over 7.0 innings pitched.  

What happened in his very next start, however, had many critics raising the same question: In the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which one is the true Volquez?

He pitched horribly in his next start, lasting just 2.1 innings while surrendering eight earned runs to the Cincinnati Reds.  

On Saturday, Volquez held the Philadelphia Phillies to just one run over 7.0 innings of work, and the victory was his third straight decision with a win.  

With the win, he climbed over .500 for the first time since he started the season 1-0. However, the same case still remains.  

He looked shaky in the top of the first inning Saturday, allowing three batters to reach base safely. 

However, with what seemed like the click of a switch, Volquez instantly settled down to escape the inning unharmed. From there, he was dominant.  

So, it remains uncertain what kind of pitcher he really is at this point in his career. He has shown flashes of greatness at times while looking lost on the mound at others.  

One thing is for sure, however: With a potential National League Central Division title on the line in the second half of the season, Volquez will have to prove his true identity.  

The Pirates have been dealt heavy blows throughout the season to their starting rotation, with Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole both spending time on the disabled list.  

Volquez is the veteran with the most experience in Pittsburgh’s rotation, and now is the time for him to continue pitching well into the second half of the season and potentially even the postseason.  

So, while the question remains unanswered, you decide: Who is the real Volquez, and what do you predict his final statistics will be at the end of the regular season?


*Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference

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