I get more excited with each passing day as we inch closer to mid-February. I’m not going to lie to you readers, I’m on the edge of my seat wondering whether or not this new look Padres team can put a competitive product out on the field. The anticipation is killing me knowing that San Diego upgraded their roster and minor league system this off-season by leaps and bounds. And while the Padres will likely not be in the Postseason race come September, there is enough talent and intrigue that comes along with many of these new acquisitions which has left me wanting Spring Training to start immediately. That being said, I can’t wait to see whether or not Starting Pitcher Edinson Volquez can get his recently derailed career back on track in 2012.
Yesterday MLB.com’s Cash Kruth wrote an article discussing how “changes of scenery” could help specific MLB players who were traded this offseason. One of those players he mentioned was Volquez, who only at 28 years of age, still has plenty of time and is in a solid situation to make things happen with the rest of his career. Luckily for Volquez, San Diego could be a great landing spot for him.
The article alludes to it a bit, but you would be ludicrous as a Pitcher to not want to take your talents to Petco in an attempt to resurrect your career. The spacious outfield coupled with a fleet-footed, Gold Glove candidate CF in Maybin, and the fact that the ball doesn’t rocket off the bat make San Diego a “Pitcher’s Paradise.” The change of scenery would give Volquez a chance to get healthy and clear his mind from his suspension for PED use and put his demotion to the Minors far behind hi.
Moreover, the last couple of seasons have seen newly acquired, veteran, Padres Pitchers turn in solid statistical seasons and move on somewhere else. Jon Garland won 14 games in 2010, and Aaron Harang won 14 last season pitching half their home games in Petco.
If Volquez is truly dedicated to getting his career back in order and stays healthy, we as Padres fans could be treated to watching him shine in 2012, especially at the cavernous Petco Park. It wouldn’t shock me at all that if Volquez played an entire season injury free, and the Padres’ Offense was a little less anemic than 2011’s version if Edinson won 12-15 games and had a sub 4.00 E.R.A.. Will he turn back into the guy that went 17-6 with over 200 Strikeouts and a 3.21 E.R.A., and was an All-Star in 2008? Maybe not. But Petco, a chance to be healthy, coupled with a fresh start in a new city like San Diego has to at least pay dividends for Volquez.
The stage is set for Volquez to shine, and all seems to be falling in place for him to succeed. Who knows? If Volquez can perform up to snuff, he could parlay his success in San Diego into a huge Free Agent deal elsewhere a la Garland and Harang. It’s all in his hands now, but there are plenty of worse places for a Starting Pitcher to try and resurrect his career.
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