Edinson Volquez struggled in three innings of work as the Pirates lost to the Rays this afternoon, 6-3. Now, it's spring, and nobody is a bigger fan than I am of preemptively shutting down conversations about spring training performances. Man, I love doing that. I'm all in your face like, "SHUT UP NOTHING MEANS ANYTHING," like Marilyn Manson playing a schoolteacher in a Todd Solondz movie or something. But if the Pirates have one player whose spring training performance might be some indication of something, it's Volquez, since his signing was predicated on the idea that he could pitch better than he has in the recent past. So far, he's been awful.
Volquez struck out four batters over 3.1 innings, but walked two and allowed a wild pitch while giving up four runs, two earned. For what it's worth (Nothing! Probably nothing! Please let it be nothing!), he's now allowed 13 runs, 11 earned, in nine innings this spring, with eight whiffs, five walks and three home runs allowed. The walks, especially, are entirely consistent with the profile Volquez has established over the past several years.
Volquez, for whatever it's worth, described the outing in terms of adjustments he's trying to make:
"The numbers don't look good, but the process is coming along really good right now," Volquez said. "Like (Saturday) I felt really good with my line to the plate. The first couple games I kind of flew open. The front side was open. Before (Saturday's game) we worked in the bullpen. It's pretty close."