One of Miami’s biggest weaknesses heading into the off-season was starting pitching. On Monday night, they took a major step towards rectifying that:
In Edinson Volquez, the Marlins are getting a veteran pitcher coming off the back of a down year. Volquez posted a 5.37 ERA over 189.1 innings in 2016, but he has enjoyed notably successful seasons over his 12 year career.
In 2008, Volquez racked up 17 wins during an All-Star campaign, and in both 2014 and 2015 he won 13 contests and produced mid-three ERAs. When he is on the mound, Volquez can be dominant. However, durability has been a recurring issue throughout his career as well.
Volquez was limited to 221 innings over three seasons between 2009 and 2011 due to first undergoing Tommy John surgery and then being suspended for 50 games for using performance-enhancing drugs. Over the past three years, though, he has averaged 194 innings per season, the highest of his career.
While not being a sure bet, securing Volquez’s signature for $22 million was a smart move for this organization. First of all, the move provides the club with another proven winner to pitch alongside Wei-Yin Chen, Adam Conley and Tom Koehler. After those three names, there are a lack of resumes with a track record of success at the major league level on the roster.
In Edinson Volquez, the Marlins have also added a World Series winner. He started twice in the 2015 World Series, recording a 3.00 ERA to help the Royals defeat the Mets. While this one deal in no way puts Miami into the championship conversation, this experience will be beneficial in the predominantly young clubhouse down the stretch when the pressure of winning reaches its peak.
The signing of Edinson Volquez is by no means a blockbuster deal that will propel the Marlins past the Nationals and Mets in the NL East standings, but it does inject some talent into a starting rotation that was sub-par compared to other teams in the division. Presumably, Volquez will move into the number four spot in the rotation, but he definitely has the talent and potential to become the ace of the staff, especially if he bounces-back and produces similar numbers to 2015.
The Marlins have stated multiple times that the starting pitching needs to be upgraded, but made it clear that it would only come at a reasonable cost. This signing has helped to achieve that goal.