Volquez forced home to obtain work visa

Published 1:55 am Friday, March 4, 2011

The Associated Press

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez is going back to the Dominican Republic to obtain his work visa, hoping to a straighten out a problem that appears to stem from his performance-enhancing drug ban last year.

Volquez has already been picked to start on opening day for the NL Central champions.

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The 27-year-old righty plans to be back in the Dominican this weekend and meet with U.S. government representative Monday. He expects to rejoin the Reds at their Arizona camp on Tuesday.

Volquez only has a travel visa right now. He has not been allowed to pitch in any exhibition games for which admissions were charged. His ban last April for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug apparently has prevented him from getting the proper documentation.

Volquez has been allowed to work on the back fields and threw 50 pitches in live batting practice on Wednesday. He will get four starts between now and opening day.

“When I get back, I’m going to jump right into a game,” Volquez said Thursday. “Four starts should be enough to get ready. When I come back, I’ll pitch four or five innings. The 50 pitches yesterday was about three innings.”