The Texas Rangers have placed pitcher Edinson Volquez on the 45 day injured list due to a strained oblique, the Rangers announced today. The Rangers are off today, and so no corresponding move to fill the empty spot on the active roster will be made until tomorrow.
This may signal the end of Volquez’s career, as 45 days gets us right up to the end of the regular season. The righthander signed a two year minor league deal with the Rangers prior to the 2018 season, when he was coming off Tommy John surgery and was going to miss that season as he rehabbed. Volquez was in the 2019 rotation to start the year, but after one start went back on the injured list with a sprained UCL.
Volquez said at the time that 2019 was going to be his last season, and if the UCL was damaged to where he would need a third Tommy John surgery (he had had the surgery earlier in his career as well) in order to pitch, he would simply retire. He went the rest and rehab route, and was about to return before the end of the year in a long relief and opener role.
Volquez made the Ranger bullpen this year, and has a 6.34 ERA in 5.2 IP over 7 appearances. His being put on the 45 day injured list opens up a spot on the 40 man roster, though it remains to be seen whether the Rangers would add someone not currently on the 40 man roster. Luke Farrell is on the COVID-19 list after having been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, but hasn’t tested positive himself up to this point. He will need to be reinstated at some point, once it is clear that he is not positive, and he will need a 40 man roster spot at that point. Assuming that Farrell is still not ready to be activated, the only other pitchers on the 40 man roster who aren’t active or on the injured list are Kyle Cody, Demarcus Evans, and Tyler Phillips, and only Evans would seem to be a realistic option for the active roster at this point.
My guess is that Danny Santana, who has been on the injured list with a strained forearm, gets activated tomorrow. He was reportedly under consideration to be activated earlier in the week as a possible DH/PH option, though he needed a few more days before his arm would be ready to play in the field.
Volquez would seem to be a longshot to return for 2021...though we thought in 2019 he would retire after the season, but he didn’t. If Volquez is finished, he ends up his career with a 95-89 record with a 4.45 ERA in 1546.1 IP, with a career 6.9 bWAR in 15 seasons.