Volquez gets Opening Day start for Padres
Right-hander, semifinal winner in Classic, pitched first game of last season, too
PEORIA, Ariz. -- For the second time in as many years, the Padres have tabbed Edinson Volquez to make their Opening Day start.
Manager Bud Black said on Monday that Volquez will pitch next Monday when the Padres face the Mets at Citi Field in New York.
"[Black] told me today, and it was a big moment," Volquez said. "I'm excited about Opening Day No. 3. It's a big honor. I can't wait for that first game in New York."
The right-hander also made an Opening Day start for the Reds in 2011.
"I do think it's a feather in the cap -- a special day," Black said. "You look for experience and how he is going to handle it. I do like that he pitched the first game for his country [Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic].
"He had a solid year last year and we think he can build off that."
Volquez was 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA in 32 starts last season. Only Clayton Richard -- who is scheduled to start the home opener against the Dodgers on April 9 -- made more starts in 2012 (33).
"He was durable and dependable," Black said of Volquez.
Volquez appeared in three games for the Dominican Republic, which defeated Puerto Rico for the Classic crown. He was the winning pitcher in a semifinal victory over Kingdom of the Netherlands.
"We wanted to make sure that start in San Francisco went well," Black said of the semifinal. "But we think his stamina and pitch count is fine.
Volquez threw a bullpen session on Sunday and will start one more game in Arizona, on Wednesday against the Reds.
A year ago, Volquez started against the Dodgers at Petco Park on Opening Day. He allowed two earned runs and four walks in five innings and was the losing pitcher in a 5-3 defeat.