Reds' Volquez cleared to throw again

Reds' Volquez cleared to throw again

CINCINNATI -- Injured Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez got the good news he was seeking, even if it came tagged with a "but."

Volquez was cleared to resume throwing again, but he has to start his program over from square one.

"That's bad," said Volquez, who is on the disabled list with right elbow tendinitis. He was examined by team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek on Monday.

Volquez will long toss on Friday from a distance of 60 feet and his progress will be monitored even closer than before by Kremchek. His throwing program was close to having him back on a mound until it was halted last week when an MRI exam revealed inflammation in the muscle where the right forearm meets the elbow.

That inflammation appears to have completely subsided, which was a requirement before Volquez would be allowed to throw again.

"[Kremchek] checked my arm and he stretched my arm. He turned it that way and the other way," Volquez said. "He said I could throw. He said he's going to check my arm every time I throw. He'll be here to make sure everything is OK."

Already expected to be out through at least the All-Star break, the 25-year-old Volquez is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA in nine starts. He's thrown in just one inning since May 16 when he went on the DL for the first time with back spasms. The tendinitis issue happened during his June 1 return.

"It's been hard to be at home watching the games," Volquez said. "You get mad. I'm screaming at the umpire on TV."

Meanwhile, there was an odd development on Tuesday during third baseman Edwin Encarnacion's rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville. Encarnacion, on the 60-day DL because of a chip fracture in his left wrist, was not in the Bats' lineup during their afternoon game vs. Gwinnett County.

Time off is a rarity during rehab assignments that, by rule, last just a maximum of 20 days for position players. It was even more bizarre in Encarnacion's case because Louisville has a scheduled off-day on Wednesday -- which wipes out another rehab day.

The Reds insisted nothing was wrong with Encarnacion and that it was no more than a day off after he played several games in a row. It wasn't expected that Encarnacion would return to the Reds before the end of the current homestand, which concludes on Sunday.

"I'm not counting on it," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Optimistically, hopefully, by the road trip."

In nine games for Louisville, Encarnacion is batting .258 with two homers, seven RBIs and a .410 on-base percentage. His rehab assignment will end no later than July 10 while the Reds are playing the Mets in New York. He's already eligible to be activated from the DL.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.