Edinson Volquez received a fortuitous locker assignment inside the Royals clubhouse. He resides two lockers down from All-Star catcher Salvador Perez. Volquez appreciated the proximity of his battery mate — even if he must grow used to the volume of activity, and noise, emanating from Perez’s area.
“He’s like a tornado,” Volquez said. “He’s all over the clubhouse. I’m glad that I’m next to him right now, as we try to get to know each other better.”
Volquez threw a bullpen session with Perez on Saturday morning as the Royals continued their workouts. At 31, Volquez managed to collect a two-year contract from Kansas City this winter despite a shaky history.
Before 2014, Volquez lugged around a 4.99 ERA after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2009. He played for three teams in that span. In the middle of the 2013 season, the Padres simply released him.
Volquez rejuvenated himself last season in Pittsburgh. He tossed 192 2/3 innings, his most since 2008. His ERA was a career-best 3.04. His strikeout rate dipped, but he also posted a career-low 3.3 walks per nine.
Volquez has given part of the credit for his performance to catcher Russell Martin. Volquez had a 2.55 ERA in 25 starts he made with Martin, who left the Pirates for a five-year, $82 million contract with Toronto this winter. In Perez, Volquez hopes he has found a similar partner.
“I had a great catcher last year,” Volquez said. “I saw (Perez) play last year, and I said, ‘Why not?’ The other guy (Martin), he doesn’t play for Pittsburgh anymore. He went to Toronto. I wanted to have a good catcher behind me. I think I’ve got a great one.”
FROM THE STAR
1. Alex Gordon opens up about his contract situation. He wants to remain a Royal, but he hedged when asked about picking up his option for 2016.
2. Omar Infante is dealing with inflammation in his right elbow.
3. Jandel Gustave threw a bullpen session on Saturday. Ned Yost watched.
HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC
“Shape” by Breakfast In Fur.