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.
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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.