Right-hander Edinson Volquez will break camp with the Rangers and be part of the 30-man Opening Day roster, manager Chris Woodward told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan and other reporters. It will be Volquez’s 15th Major League campaign, and his fifth in a Rangers uniform.
Volquez re-signed with Texas on a minor league deal last winter, following an abbreviated season that saw him post a 6.75 ERA over 16 innings. It was Volquez’s first action since July 2017, as Tommy John surgery and then another elbow injury kept the righty on the shelf for over two full seasons’ worth of games. The frustration had Volquez considering retirement last summer, though returning to the mound seemed to reinvigorate him for one more season beyond his final few appearances in September 2019.
Woodward pointed to Volquez’s recent success against left-handed batters (holding them to .670 OPS in 2019) as a reason for keeping him on the roster. “First and foremost, the stuff is there,” Woodward said. “I wasn’t going to keep him unless he showed he can get people out….The fact that he has been pitching a long time. He has pitched in big games. The leadership aspect in the clubhouse is second to none.”
Volquez turned 37 earlier this month, though the longtime starter could find a second act to his career by moving into a full-time relief role for the first time (while being durable enough to offer the Rangers a potential multi-inning or long relief option). Volquez’s good numbers against lefty hitters could make him something of a reverse-splits candidate for a Texas bullpen that is somewhat thin on southpaws, as Brett Martin will miss the start of the season recovering from a COVID-19 diagnosis.