The Kansas City Royals could bring some nostalgia back to Kauffman, but with the recent performance of this pitcher, it might be best to pass.
Most Kansas City Royals fans can remember the amazing 2015 World Series run. It was something for the history books and it continues to float through the minds of Royals fans from year to year, especially during these rebuilding years of 100 loss seasons.
There is little left of that 2015 Royals team still in Kansas City and a new era of Royals baseball is forming right in front of fans’ eyes. The team is working with younger players and trying to build a new contending team in hopes of another World Series run.
It’s likely the team will soon start to add some new players to the team, through free agents or call ups. Either way, there will be new names to learn, and fans will have to get involved to follow along and learn about these new Royals.
It’s likely the Royals will look to add a few pitchers to the roster through the free agency this year, but what remains to be seen is whether or not these pitchers will be worth it in the long run. If the Royals wanted to add a bit of 2015 nostalgia to the roster for 2020, there are multiple names the team could look to bring back.
One player, in particular, is pitcher Edinson Volquez. Fans will likely remember Volquez as he was a staple for the team in 2015. Volquez provided a reliable arm that could go out and give the team a strong start until the bullpen could take over.
With the Royals in 2015, Volquez ended the regular season 13-9 in 34 games, with an ERA of 3.55, 200.1 innings pitched and 155 strikeouts. While Volquez might not have blown everyone away every time he was on the mound, he played an important role in getting to and winning the 2015 World Series.
Volquez remained with the Royals for the 2016 season, but he, unfortunately, saw a sharp decline in production. He still managed 34 games and 189.1 innings, but his ERA shot up to 5.37 and he gave up an American League-leading 113 earned runs.
After the 2016 season, Volquez went on the free-agent market and ended up in Miami. Struggling with injuries for a good portion of the year, Volquez was only able to pitch in 17 games in 2017. He did see better numbers, though, with an ERA of 4.19 and 81 strikeouts over 92.1 innings.
Volquez didn’t see any time in 2018. He signed a minor league contract with the Texas Ranges and spent most of the season on the injured list. Finally, in 2019, Volquez found his way back to the majors. He started a couple of games to start the season but landed on the injured list again.
Volquez was activated and appeared in mostly relief appearances throughout September for the Rangers but was unable to show a lot of production. In his short 2019 stint, Volquez saw 11 games (started 4), pitched 16 innings with 10 strikeouts, and held an ERA of 6.75.
Volquez is available once again on the free-agent market and the Royals are in need of pitching. The fix for the Royals, though, will not come from nostalgia-driven signings. Volquez is now 36 years old, much too old for the rebuilding Royals trying to form a team around young players.
Volquez also seems to have his best years behind him, his last good year being the 2015 season he spent with the Royals. Put all this together with his recent issues with injuries and it’s clear this wouldn’t be a great signing for the Royals. The only positive thing for Kansas City in this signing would be that he would likely come at a low price or even on a minor league deal.
While this may be attractive to the Royals, it’s not something they should look too seriously into. Volquez will always be remembered in Kansas City as one of the pitchers that helped bring home the World Series, and that’s how it should stay.
If the Royals want to continue to progress in their rebuild, they need to be looking for younger arms, or good players that can be traded for prospects to restock the farm system. While familiar faces are always nice to see on the field, signings like Volquez will only continue to hold the Royals back.