Edinson Volquez made a great first impression on Cincinnati fans after coming over for Josh Hamilton before the 2008 season. By the all-star break, he had posted a 2.29 ERA in 19 starts while striking out more than a batter an inning. ESPN did a great story on Volquez in May of that season.

Since the 2008 All-star break, he’s pitched in Cincinnati with league average results. His wildness caught up with him, he started giving up homeruns with greater frequency, and he had trouble working deep into ballgames.

Age Level G/GS ERA WHIP IP HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
19-23 Minors 108/96 3.72 1.20 547.0 0.9 3.5 9.2 2.63
21-23 TEX 20/17 7.20 1.91 80.0 1.6 4.7 6.2 1.31
24-25 CIN 42/41 3.44 1.33 245.2 0.7 4.6 9.3 2.02
Pre AS ’08 CIN 20/19 2.29 1.24 117.2 0.4 4.3 9.6 2.25
Since AS ’08 CIN 22/22 4.50 1.41 128.0 1.1 4.9 8.9 1.84

So, are the Reds adding an ace at mid-season, or are they getting a league average pitcher? The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. We won’t see the pitcher who threw in Texas, but I wouldn’t bet on getting a performance like he had the first half of 2008. Volquez was reportedly throwing his fastball 1-2 mph faster than he was prior to his injury, but he continued to have trouble with walking 8 batters in his final 3 rehab starts (18 innings.)

Given the current injuries in the rotation, and the potential inning limits on the rookies, a league average pitcher who teases us with much more upside, is a great addition for the team down the stretch.