2008 was a break-out season for Edinson Volquez. He was a NL all-star and finished the season 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 206 strikeouts. However, it has been all down hill for him since a June 1, 2009 start in St. Louis against the Cardinals. That’s when he felt numbness in the pinky and ring finger of his right hand.

That numbness landed him on the DL and eventually lead to Tommy John surgery in August. Then in April 2010 he was handed a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Even so, the Reds set a tentative return date of late July or August.

According to Mark Riggins (Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator) it generally takes 1 1/2 to 2 years to fully regain velocity after Tommy John surgery. Volquez appears to be ahead of that.

Saturday Volquez began his road to recovery in a start for Single-A Lynchburg. He pitched well, allowing singles to the first two hitters he faced and then retired the next nine in a row, striking out three of them.

The road to recovery will be a long one and with the already strong rotation in Cincinnati, it is anyone’s guess where it may lead.


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