The Edinson Volquez renaissance has culminated from a good-luck 2014 (3.04 ERA v. 4.15 FIP) into a legitimately productive 2015 (2.6 fWAR; highest since 2008).
Regression was *reasonably* expected for 2016, but Volquez has went into the opposite direction, spitting directly into typical baseball reasoning’s face and finding his prime at age 32 (going on 33), in his sixth full season.
After surrendering whiffs the last two seasons in favor of control, he has meshed the two so far this season, averaging just over eight strikeouts per nine innings, while walking less than three per nine innings.
For reference, Volquez has set new career lows in BB/9 the last two season, and his 2.92 mark this season would do that once again.
Volquez certainly doesn’t love Anaheim, giving up 15 runs in his 14.1 innings against the Angels, but his last start against the Halos was back in 2007, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that.
The Royals, meanwhile, torched Jered Weaver last season, with him giving up eight runs in 10.1 innings of work.
What Weaver starting really does is give me the excuse to share this tweet with the Kings of Kauffman readership.
This is easily my favorite tweet of all time, because it’s not wrong.
If you are a baseball fan, as well as a Royals fan, you probably heard about his Spring Training velocity woes.
This is a trend that has come to a climax after years of development.
As you can see in this chart, via Brooks Baseball, his velocity hovered around 90 MPH fora solid four-year period, before starting a rapid decline to its current position.
This doesn’t usually profile well for the Royals, who obviously love guys who through really hard, but as we know from last year, Weaver doesn’t exactly fool the Royals.
Must-See Matchup – Edinson Volquez v. Albert Pujols
As he has been for so many pitchers over his 16 year career, Pujols has been a thorn in Volquez’s side.
Although he only has 14 plate appearances against Ed, Pujols has hit two homers and a double off of Volquez in 10 at-bats, adding four walks as well.
Although Pujols is aging and the Angels lack lineup depth, the presence of Trout and Pujols still give the Halos a fairly potent middle of the lineup.
Trout will get his, but if Trout and Pujols are giving Volquez problems, the Royals could have some trouble on their hands.
Next: Game Three - Chris Young Looks To Continue Rebound