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Edinson Volquez [VOL-kays] (born July 3, 1983 in La Segunua, Dominican Republic), nicknamed "Voltron", is a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds. He bats and throws right-handed.
Volquez has previously been known as Julio Reyes and Edison Volquez.
Listed at 6'0", 200 pounds, Volquez made his major league debut on August 30, 2005, after rising rapidly through Texas' minor league system. Together with John Danks and Thomas Diamond, Volquez was one third of the vaunted "DVD" trio of Rangers pitching prospects.
Volquez's first stint in the major leagues was disastrous. After spending four years in the Rangers' minor league system, Volquez was promoted to the major league club on August 30, 2005, where he lost all three games he started, as well as one of the three games in which he appeared as a reliever, and posted a 14.21 ERA. He spent the first five months of the 2006 season at Triple-A Oklahoma until he was recalled to the majors in September. This time, he fared better, winning one of his eight starts and posting a 7.29 ERA. The Rangers were unsatisfied with the results shown by one of their top pitching prospects, so they tried an unconventional tactic. Volquez was demoted to the Rangers' A-league affiliate, the Bakersfield Blaze, to work on his control. As Volquez progressed, he was slowly promoted up through the minor league system until he reached the big leagues in September. This tactic had been used by Mark Connor, the Rangers' pitching coach, once before. When he was with Toronto in 2001, he demoted pitcher Roy Halladay to the low minors to work on his fundamentals. Halladay met the challenge and won the Cy Young Award two years later. In 2007 Volquez showed much improvement in his big league performance.
On December 21, 2007, the Texas Rangers traded Volquez to the Cincinnati Reds, along with Danny Herrera, in a deal for Josh Hamilton. Volquez made his Reds' debut on April 6, 2008 in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati. In 5.1 innings of work, he allowed only five hits, one earned run and two walks while striking out eight batters. The Reds' offense provided Volquez with plenty of run support as Cincinnati won the game by the score of 8-2.
Volquez started 2008 with a 7-1 record and a 1.33 ERA in nine starts, and allowed no more than one earned run in all but one of these starts (in which he allowed two). He became the only Reds pitcher to accomplish this since 1912.
On May 18, 2008, Volquez participated in a premiere pitching matchup with the Cleveland Indians' Cliff Lee, who at that point led the American League with an ERA of 0.67. It was the third time in MLB history that the ERA leaders of each league had faced each other. Volquez won the contest by a score of 6-4, improving to 7-1. Lee's loss, his first of the season, left him with a 6-1 record.
On May 23, 2008, Volquez struck out 12 batters in 6 innings, allowing only two hits and one earned run. This game brought his strikeout total to 74 surpassing strikeout leader Tim Lincecum who had 69. On June 4th, Volquez threw seven innings of shutout baseball, claiming a 2-0 win over the Phillies and improving to 8-2 on the season.
Volquez was selected to represent the National League in the 2008 MLB All-Star Game. This was his first All-Star selection. In the game Volquez pitched the seventh inning and gave up a two-run home run to J.D. Drew. By the All-Star Break, Volquez had an 12-3 record with a 2.29 ERA and 126 strikeouts.