After losing his 2018 season to Tommy John surgery, Volquez was only active in the majors for 16 innings in 2019. During that time, he turned to his changeup more than any year in his career, throwing it 36.7% of the time.
Volquez threw his curveball less often in 2019, only 15.49% of the time, something he has done every season since 2015, when he threw it 25.9% of the time.
Volquez threw his fastball less often than he ever had in his career during his brief time on the mound in 2019, only throwing it 47.81% of the time. He struggled with control as well, accruing 5.63 K/9, 6.75 BB/9, and a 6.65 FIP.
Volquez occasionally throws a four-seam fastball but throws a sinker more than anything. His sinker comes in around 93 MPH on average with the ability to hit 96 and a good bit of vertical movement. The pitch performed alright in 2017, generating some week contact with opposing hitters having just a .261 average against it, but Volquez was prone to making mistakes with it, as opposing hitters had a .191 ISO against it.
Volquez’s changeup looked very good in 2017. It’s always had decent horizontal movement, but between 2016 and 2017, he added two inches of vertical movement to it, which increased its pVAL from 5.6 to 9.9. The pitch also generated an excellent 19.2% whiff rate and a 48.7% chase rate, while opposing hitters had just a .191 wOBA and .058 ISO against it.
This isn’t much of a curveball to be honest. Volquez’s curve comes in around 81 MPH with below-average movement and doesn’t really miss bats. That being said, it produced groundballs at a 51.4% rate in 2017, and opposing hitters had a .285 wOBA against it.