Edinson Volquez- CIN- Hot- Volquez was uncharacteristically wild, throwing 44 of his 101 pitches for balls and walking 5 in 6 IP. In a measure of how good his season has been so far, his 3 earned runs allowed is the first time he has given up that many this year. Volquez struck out 5 and allowed only 3 hits in the outing. He has benefited from luck to some extent this season, with a .257 BHIP%, but not outrageously so. The main improvement for Volquez has been in his strikeout rate, which is now at 1.19/IP. There is some concern about overwork. He is only 24 years old and has thrown 110 or more pitches in 5 of his 13 starts.
Paul Bako- CIN- Hot- From May 11th through June 4th Bako went 4-for- 48 with no homers. He struck out 20 times and walked 5 times. Since getting to Florida this weekend, though, Bako seems to have rediscovered his Batting EYE. In 3 games he walked twice while striking out just once in 9 at bats. He also collected 4 hits and got the first multi-homer game of his career yesterday.
Taylor Buchholz- COL- Hot- Buchholz will probably not see a lot of decrease in his playing time due to the activation of Luis Vizcaino from the DL. Although the preseason plan was for Vizcaino to provide most of the 8th inning setup innings, Buchholz has thrived in that role, amassing 11 holds and a 1.67 ERA. He has only been scored on in one of his last 12 appearances and manager Clint Hurdle is unlikely to rock the boat.
Andy LaRoche- LAN- FYI- LaRoche has been playing 2B at AAA Las Vegas and is possibly being groomed to replace Jeff Kent if the veteran retires after this season. He is probably going to be called up today to fill the roster spot left by the demotion of Chin-lung Hu. LaRoche will serve as a utility infielder, now with the ability to play all positions except SS. His stay may only last until Rafael Furcal is ready to come back, at which time Angel Berroa will serve as backup infielder and LaRoche will get more seasoning at 2B in Las Vegas.
Hernan Iribarren- MIL- Rookie- Iribarren was called up to take the roster spot of the injured Rickie Weeks and may get some playing time. His main asset is speed and he has improved it this year at AAA Nashville. Last year at AA Huntsville, Iribarren stole 18 bases but was caught stealing 16 times, showing poor selectivity in when to run. This year he already has 14 SBs, but has been caught only 5 times, a much higher success rate. Iribarren’s average of .273 at Nashville is lower than the .324 career minor league mark he had entering 2008. However, he maintained rates of striking out about once every six at bats and walking about once for every 10 at bats. Iribarren’s underlying plate discipline is not great, but he has maintained consistency, so his hitting ability is probably also still there. Consider him as a sleeper to add to the steals category in the short term.