The Royals open up a three-game set against the Oakland A’s tonight 9:05 PM CT
This is one of the more intriguing matchups of the weekend.
Volquez, as you already know, has been dominant during his first two starts of the season, striking out 15 batters in just 11.2 innings of work.
Volquez could be described as a reclamation project, putting together a 3.30 ERA over 393 innings over his last two season after registering a 5.71 ERA in 170.1 innings in 2013.
However, when it comes to reclamation projects, Rich Hill takes the cake.
I would highly recommend you read that piece by Jon Morosi in the link, but I’ll give you a synopsis here.
Back on July 24 of 2015, Hill was released by the Nationals. Not having any teams willing to give him an opportunity to start, and I’m talking minor league as well, he signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, and independent league.
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After he had shoulder surgery in 2009 and Tommy John surgery in 2011, Hill was forced to begin throwing over-the-top again, if he wanted to move out from being a lefty-specialist into being a starting pitcher again.
To wrap this up and get back to the series recap, Hill went from being released and relegated to Independent ball for any chance to start, to throwing a two-hit, complete games shutout for the Red Sox in a day over three months.
As it comes to the matchup, the two pitchers couldn’t really be any different. Volquez has power stuff, while hill hasn’t hit 93 MPH once this season.
However, despite the lack of velocity, Hill garners an unusual number of swings and misses on his fastball.
Volquez walk-prone nature will benefit from the A’s being the worst team in the American League at drawing walks, which is hard to believe with the Royals also being in that league.
The two teams occupy the walk-drawing cellar so far this season, so we should see some pretty quick baseball games this weekend.
Must-See Matchup – Rich Hill v. Lorenzo Cain
It is matchups like this that I miss talking about Billy Butler, and his lefty-killing career.
However, when Butler left, Cain picked up right where Billy left off in his mashing of lefties, hitting .335 against south paws in 2015.
He OPS’d at a .959 clip against lefties last season, as well as hitting 7 of his 16 home runs off of left-handers, despite having 200 fewer plate appearances against them.
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