Volquez faces 12 months of rehab

CINCINNATI -- Reds right-hander Edinson Volquez is expected to miss the rest of this season and the first half of next year, too, after having reconstructive elbow surgery Monday, another major setback for fading Cincinnati.

Volquez had surgery to replace a torn ligament and repair other damage in his right elbow, which has sidelined him for the last two months. The typical recovery time is 12 months.

"It's not good news," manager Dusty Baker said. "It sure hurts your heart."

It hurts the Reds in a lot of ways.

They got Volquez from Texas for Josh Hamilton before the 2008 season. The trade worked out fantastically for both teams -- Hamilton and Volquez both made the All-Star Game last year. Volquez quickly became the Reds' top starter, going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA.

He also threw a career-high 196 innings, far more than he'd ever thrown in a season. The Reds were concerned over his decision to play winter baseball and participate in the World Baseball Classic. Baker said during spring training that he worried about the stress on pitchers' arms when they played in the WBC.

"This is something I was afraid of -- not only for us, but for other teams," Baker said.

Baker, however, said there was no proof that Volquez's workload was responsible for the injury.

"Again, I can't say that's the reason," Baker said.

The 26-year-old Volquez went 4-2 in nine starts before his elbow began bothering him. He went on the disabled list June 2 and was working his way back toward reinstatement when he had a setback last week. He threw 76 pitches in the bullpen without problem on Monday, then threw again on Wednesday.

He was throwing in a simulated game on Friday when he felt tightness in the elbow and had to stop, setting him on course for surgery.

Volquez is the sixth Reds player to have surgery this season. Cincinnati currently has nine players on the disabled list, contributing to a July free fall that has dropped them out of contention in the NL Central.