LOS ANGELES -- Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez couldn't wait to get to the mound on Monday for his first bullpen session, but he needed the right footwear first. "I can't find my spikes," Volquez said in the clubhouse before eventually finding them and putting them on. "They're too tight." Volquez's spikes hadn't touched a mound in nearly two months. But his rehab from right elbow tendinitis finally went to the next level with a 30-pitch bullpen session -- his first pitching since going on the disabled list on June 2.
Pitching coach Dick Pole and head trainer Mark Mann supervised the session in the Dodger Stadium bullpen and everything appeared to go smooth. "He threw about 68 percent velocity," Pole said, jokingly. "He didn't have any look of distress. He had no problems. In fact, I was kind of surprised he located the ball as well as he did for as long as it's been." Volquez will take Tuesday off and return to the bullpen for another session on Wednesday, which will be about 35 pitches at a higher intensity. Assuming that goes well, more mound work is slated for Friday. After that could be the start of a Minor League rehab assignment. However, a return to the Reds' rotation isn't imminent for Volquez because the right-hander has to build up his arm strength all over again. "We'll see where he is when he goes out," Pole said. "It'll probably be like a Spring Training thing, three innings and maybe five innings. As long as he's been off, it will take more than one or two [outings.]" The 26-year-old Volquez is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA in nine starts this season. Since going on the DL for the first time on May 16 with back spasms, he pitched just one inning before the tendinitis issue surfaced.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.