So Long and Thanks for All the Walks

On December 17, 2011, the Edinson Volquez Experience opened to tepid reviews.  Mostly because he directly replaced Mat Latos, the best Padre pitcher since Jake Peavy.  This past Saturday the curtain rang down a final time, after an all-too-familiar ineffective start.

Edinson Volquez has as many Padre career wins as Greg Maddux (20).

Well we’re two years removed from Josh Byrnes’ first major trade as the GM.  How does that trade look today?  Not too good.  As a reminder, Latos went to Cincinnati in exchange for Volquez, Brad Boxberger, Yonder Alonso, and Yasmani Grandal.

Volquez, through 1+ years, was worth 1.5 WAR.  Boxberger has thrown 41 1/3 major league innings since the trade.  In his last stint, which ended yesterday, he threw 5 2/3 innings, allowed 4 hits and 1 earned run, walked 3 and struck out 4.  He’s back in Tucson.  Boxberger has posted a -0.3 WAR in his Padres career.  Alonso has become the every day first baseman and has accumulated 2.1 WAR since the trade.  Grandal, career currently derailed by steroid suspension and injury, has been worth 3.0 WAR.

Volquez’s .488 winning percentage is 24th best in Padre history (minimum 41 decisions), and .006 better than Latos.

Mat was the #2 Red starter behind Johnny Cueto last season.  With Cueto now on the 60-day DL and out indefinitely, Latos is the Cincinnati ace.  Latos was worth 3.0 WAR last year and 4.3 so far in 2013, for a cool 7.3 since the trade.

So to sum up:

  • Padres (Volquez/Boxberger/Alonso/Grandal): 6.3 WAR combined.
  • Latos:  7.3 WAR

Grandal may still evolve into an elite catcher.  Alonso is a serviceable first baseman although his loss of power is concerning (.120 ISO in 2012; .089 in 2013).  Who knows if Boxberger will ever stick with the big club long-term.

Volquez was to soften the blow of losing Latos.  No one in their right mind expected Volquez to BECOME Latos-esque, although there was hope that he might rediscover his 2008 form.  That never happened.

Watching him pitch was maddening.  His inability to get through 5 innings at less than 90 pitches. Heck, his inability to get through five at all.  Edinson threw 5 innings or less in 10 of his 26 starts this year (39%).  The constant parade of base runners.  Volquez’s 1.665 WHIP is easily the worst in the National League among qualified starters.  Deep count after deep count.

Volquez walked 174 hitters in 325 Padre innings.  A free pass every other inning.

There were a few bright spots.  He held Houston to one-hit on July 19, 2012.  On April 24th he didn’t walk a single Brewer, lasting 7 innings, getting the win, and causing many in San Diego to believe it was ‘Opposite Day’.  He hit his lone career home run June 2 against Toronto, staking himself to a 4-1 lead after two.  Of course, true to form he only lasted 5 innings and got the no-decision.

The Padres are potentially loaded pitching-wise for the near future, assuming everyone recovers from their arm surgeries.    Questions abound on who will stay and who would go.  Most thought Volquez would go, but you never know for sure.  Now we know for sure.

So long, Edinson.  At least you gave us #EVHAU.

Now that he’s with the Dodgers, we all realize he won’t lose another game this season right? 

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