MLB Real Talk (5/23/11)

Photo Credit: Wknight94

Edinson Volquez was demoted to the minors and promoted to the top of my shit list. I’ve been back and forth on his fantasy prospects, but I can’t advocate holding onto him right now unless you’ve got a ton of roster space or a death wish. I tried to give him one more chance after he struck out nine Cubs in six innings two starts ago. In true Volquez-ian fashion, he proceeded to get bombed for six earned runs in 2.2 innings yesterday. Now he’s headed to Triple-A and everyone wants to know, “does Starbonell still have love for Volquez (pause)?”

There’s no doubt Volquez has been terrible this year, posting a 6.35 ERA and 6.71 BB/9. That said, if he turns things around in the minors, I’ll be back for another hit of “High Volquez.” For starters, it’s encouraging that Volquez took the news of his demotion the same way Chyna took X-Pac’s X-Cock; according to manager Dusty Baker, “he took it like a man.” Despite the ugly surface numbers, there are some encouraging aspects about Volquez. His stuff remains nasty, he still generates a lot of weak contact (15.7 LD% and career-best 55.0 GB%), and his 22.0 HR/FB ratio is ridiculously high, even with the Great American Ballpark factor. So yes, even though Volquez has burned me more than once, I’ll be quick to forgive if he throws up a 3.50 BB/9 in the minors.

While Volquez has hit a low point in his season, Homer Bailey (who knows a thing or two about being left for dead by fantasy owners) has turned in a 2.08 ERA in four starts. The strikeouts could be better considering his pedigree (6.92 K/9), but he’s barely walking anyone (1.38 BB/9) and is generating more weak contact than ever (47.4 GB% and 15.8 LD%). He’s relied on his slider a lot more this year and is throwing his heater less than ever (55.0%; career mark of 69.7%). The new approach is paying off, so even though his fastball velocity is down from previous seasons, this does not look like a fluke. His 7.1 HR/FB (and thus, his ERA) will creep north since his 3.6 Infield Fly Ball Percentage (IFFB%) is almost five points lower than his career norm, but overall, this should be Bailey’s best fantasy season. Sure the K-rate may make him an SP4 at best, but he’s got more than enough upside to warrant more than the 49-percent ownership he’s currently sporting in Yahoo! leagues. He should be universally owned in 12-team mixers right now.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.