Friday, August 30, 2013
Can Honeycutt work his magic on Volquez?
By Mark Saxon
LOS ANGELES -- If there is a common thread between the acquisitions of Carlos Marmol and Edinson Volquez, it's pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
In both cases, general manager Ned Colletti asked Honeycutt to look at tape of the struggling pitchers before striking deals. In both cases, Honeycutt said he thought he could help the pitchers get back on track.
If Marmol is any indication, the Dodgers might be able to salvage something from Volquez, the former San Diego Padres starter with the 6.01 ERA whom they signed Friday. Marmol had a 5.86 ERA with the Chicago Cubs, but since working with Honeycutt, he has changed his fortunes. All 10 of Marmol's August appearances have been scoreless.
Neither pitchers' struggles could be linked to a decline in velocity, part of the reason the Dodgers were encouraged to pursue them. According to Fangraphs, Marmol's average fastball this season has been 93.3 mph. Volquez's has been 92.3 mph.
Marmol said Honeycutt got him to stand up straighter before going into his delivery.
"It feels great, especially to be pitching for a team that wins every day," Marmol said.
Volquez's final straw in San Diego was an Aug. 23 start, in which he gave up six runs in two-thirds of an inning to the Chicago Cubs. Volquez will pitch in relief for the Dodgers initially, but he figures to make a few starts in September as well, according to Colletti.
"The pitching coach [in San Diego], he did everything he could to get me better," Volquez said. "Sometimes, it doesn't work out the way you want it to. This is the first year I'm struggling."
Here are lineups for Friday's game against the team that just released Volquez:
1. Chris Denorfia RF
2. Will Venable CF
3. Jedd Gyorko 2B
4. Yonder Alonso 1B
5. Jesus Guzman LF
6. Logan Forsythe 3B
7. Nick Hundley C
8. Ronny Cedeno SS
9. Eric Stults LHP
1. Yasiel Puig RF
2. Carl Crawford LF
3. Hanley Ramirez SS
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5. A.J. Ellis C
6. Andre Ethier CF
7. Mark Ellis 2B
8. Juan Uribe 3B
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu LHP