Another five shutout innings for Edinson Volquez tonight, on three hits, with 6 Ks and a BB. This kid is making a believer out of all the doubters.

We are probably going to miss Josh Hamilton, and I know that we here at Redleg Nation wish Hamilton nothing but success with Texas. However, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Volquez will make us miss Hamilton. Volquez, Johnny Cueto, and Homer Bailey are going to make us forget all the losses of the last seven years.

Evidently, John Fay asked our illustrious manager, Dusty Baker, whether Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto are separating themselves from the rest of pitchers competing for the rotation:

“You want me to say it or are you going to say (it). They’re pitching like they belong along side (Aaron) Harang and (Bronson) Arroyo in the rotation. They’re dealing. They came in ready to pitch. They played Winter Ball so they’re ahead, not so much with velocity but with command. That’s what you need. They’re pounding the strike zone. If you walk people, you have no chance. If you get behind people, you have little chance.

“We need them.”

Indeed. And when Homer Bailey gets things straightened out in AAA, perhaps by May or June, this is going to be a nice rotation. Next year, watch out.

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at

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9 Responses

  1. Airguitarducks

    he better be worth it
    Josh Hamilton is hitting .600 this spring

  2. GregD

    I think the Reds had to move Hamilton. Firing the Narron’s put them in a position that Hamilton couldn’t stay on the team. He HAS to have someone with him all the time, and I don’t see him succeeding without that. Even if he has a great, superstar season in Texas, that doesn’t mean it would have worked out that way here.

    I really hope most fans aren’t down on Bailey like you hear on talk radio all the time. You have to look no further than Edison Volquez’s career to see that some guys need more minor league time to refine their stuff. Volquez is only 24 years old entering this season, but his first taste of major league action was 2005. He’s had ERA’s of 14.21 and 7.29 with the Rangers.

  3. Dave from Louisville

    MLBTR had a post linking to Peter Gammons’s blog talking negatively about Bailey’s attitude. I am not an “insider”, is there anyone here that can post what he wrote?

    Bailey needs to spend an entire year in AAA, at least. Or until he has some of the control problems figured out

  4. Travis G.

    Here’s the item, Dave:

    The stock of Cincinnati prospect Homer Bailey seems to have taken a dramatic tumble in the past year. Talent evaluators say the Reds have demonstrated a clear willingness to deal Bailey, while coveting fellow prospect Johnny Cueto. And rival teams have grown increasingly skeptical about whether the young right-hander will make the adjustments necessary to become a successful big league pitcher. “What you hear is that [Bailey] is someone who thinks he’s got it all figured out,” one evaluator said.

    Let’s hope he’s humbled by a likely stint this spring in AAA and learns to listen sooner, rather than later. Let’s hope he figures things out sooner than Volquez.

  5. GregD

    With respect to EV, he’s having a good spring. We don’t *know* that he’s “figured things out” yet as it relates to full season/regular season.

  6. Dave from Louisville

    Thanks Travis.

    GregD are you still upset about the trade?

  7. GregD

    ❓ The EV/Hamilton trade? I don’t recall being upset at the time of the deal. We really have no history in major league baseball to judge what the value of Josh Hamilton should be. He still has all the talent in the world, and he still has a ton more risk than any other player. Epitome of high risk/high reward. The Reds decided to go after a 24 yr old version of Homer Bailey, and I hope the trade pays off for both teams. Although I think it’s also likely that they had no choice but to deal him because of Narron’s departure, and that helped limit what they would otherwise get in return.

  8. billg

    1) Reds fans on radio and blogs –Most want instant gratification, which they define as winning the Series. Anything else is failure. I don’t count them as true fans.

    2) Hamilton for Volquez — Always trade a good hitter for a good pitcher. Always trade a might-be-a-long-term-good-hitter for a might-be-a-long-term-good-starter. You need both, but 4 starting pitchers with ERA’s below 3.00 will win you more games than 4 offensive players with BA’s above .300.

  9. Tom

    Who knows, maybe we will get a player back in return, this from John Fay:

    The player to be named in the Salmon trade won’t be known until after Opening Day.