ShareThis Page

Pirates notebook: On second thought, Volquez prefers Bucs

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 6:12 p.m.
Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez talks with reporters in the club house Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez talks with reporters in the club house Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates tried to acquire Edinson Volquez last August, but he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. When the right-hander became a free agent this offseason, the Pirates did not hesitate.

“When San Diego put me on waivers (last year), the Pirates called right away,” Volquez said Wednesday. “This winter, they called again. I thought, ‘They must really want me, so let's do it.' ”

Volquez, 30, agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal in December during the winter meetings and is expected to hold down the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation. This week, he is working out with his new teammates during minicamp at Pirate City.

In 2008, Volquez racked up 17 wins with a 3.21 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds. Over the next three seasons, however, he had a total of 13 wins and a 5.01 ERA. Volquez was traded to the Padres before the 2012 season.

Volquez struggled again last season but rebounded slightly after hooking up with the Dodgers.

“The pitching coach there (Rick Honeycutt) is pretty good,” Volquez said.

Honeycutt tweaked Volquez's mechanics and got him to stay closed during his delivery. That helped Volquez cut his walk rate almost in half.

After seeing Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett undergo rebirths with the Pirates, Volquez said he hopes to find some of that magic for himself.

“What I hear about the Pirates pitching coaches and the pitching staff is pretty good,” Volquez said. “So, why not take a chance to come here and maybe get better?”

An old ‘new' logo

The gold capital “P” that was used last season on the black caps has been adopted as the team's official primary logo. The Pirates considered redesigning the “Jolly Roger” logo with the team name in script, which was introduced in 1997, but scrapped those plans after getting feedback from focus groups.

“While the ‘P' was not (originally) designated as our primary logo, it has been a part of our brand for more than 100 years and, more recently, the focus of our branding efforts,” team spokesman Brian Warecki said. “This change will continue to strengthen that brand identity.”

The Jolly Roger, without the lettering, will remain on the uniform sleeves.

Around the horn

Left-hander Jeff Locke said he is following his normal offseason training routine. Locke was bothered by a sore back in July, then was ineffective in the second half of the season and shut down in late September. ... Righty Charlie Morton recently bought a home near Bradenton and trains at Pirate City year-round. “When I was younger, the offseason was the offseason,” Morton said. “I didn't really take it too seriously when I was 19, 20 years old. But you start to learn that you have to work, you have to dedicate yourself, you have to become professional. Here we are, 10 years later, and I've learned a lot. You get out of it what you put into it.” ... The players at minicamp gathered to watch the Auburn-Florida State game Monday. Thursday, they will drive to Tampa to attend the Lightning game against the Washington Capitals.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me