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08/01/09 6:06 PM ET
Volquez to have surgery, out for season
Still unknown if righty will be ready for Spring Training in 2010
By Steve Gartner / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Reds right-hander Edinson Volquez will miss the rest of the season because he will undergo right elbow surgery with Dr. Tim Kremchek on Monday. Volquez threw a simulated game Friday and had to stop 20 pitches into his scheduled 80-pitch session after he complained of stiffness and shortness in his elbow. "I feel bad because I've been working at it for the past two months," Volquez said. "I threw five bullpens and I didn't feel anything. Then I get to the mound and see some hitters and I try to do a little bit more than I did in the bullpen." It is unclear whether Volquez will need Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery or the less invasive arthroscopic surgery. While Tommy John surgery would put him out 9-12 months, he would be ready for Spring Training with arthroscopic surgery. "It's swollen," Volquez said. "I don't really feel like it's really hurting right now. If that's the best thing I have to do, then I'll do it." Volquez has been on the disabled list since June 2 and had taken multiple steps toward recovering from the injury. He only threw one inning in his start June 1 against the Cardinals when he experienced numbness in his elbow. He had just returned from the DL from mid-back spasms before that start. Since returning to the DL, Volquez, who is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA in nine starts, had made significant progress toward getting back to the field. After a few setbacks, he was in one of the final stages of recovery. But his elbow couldn't hold up. "It just hasn't gotten better," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "You always try to take the conservative route and a lot of times they come back without having surgery. In this case, we felt it hadn't gotten better. It was still stiff and sore. We felt we needed to go in and see what's going on." Volquez threw a career-high 196 innings in 2008, when he won 17 games and was an All-Star for the Reds. After the season, he threw some innings in his native country, the Dominican Republic, to prepare for the World Baseball Classic. "My trainer told me a long time ago it was a 50-50 chance," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Volquez's recovery. "Hopefully they can go in Monday to get better to get him fixed for next year."
Steve Gartner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.