Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

I’m back on the road (well, the air) this morning, so you may notice my absence for a bit.

  • It’s no secret that Chris Volstad’s time in the Cubs’ rotation is probably over, at least for now. We knew it before manager Dale Sveum started saying things like this: “There is just no life, no command in really any of [Volstad’s] pitches. He couldn’t keep the ball down again, he couldn’t keep it in. It was not a real good outing at all for the situation we were in.” Or things like this: “We will get together as a staff and talk to Theo and Jed and evaluate the situation, that’s for sure. We’ll see what our options are and go from there.”
  • Volstad doesn’t have much of an explanation for his struggles, and I continue to feel bad for the guy. “I was a little more relaxed in spring, I think,” Volstad said. “I think I’m trying too hard, trying to do different things. Just a lot of forcing instead of letting my ability take over. I know it’s in there its just a matter of tapping into it and finding it at this point.”

  • Casey Coleman, who is a possibility to replace Volstad in the rotation, is a humble kid, who lists a number of folks at AAA who could take the rotation spot. Note who he almost forgets. “Down there we know just know how everybody is capable of pitching in the big leagues,” Coleman said. “You have Travis Wood who has proven he can start in the big leagues. We have Rodrigo Lopez who has obviously had a great career and Chris Rusin, a younger guy who is dominating. Everybody knows that everybody is capable down there. We’re pushing each other and everybody knows they can pitch here. Everybody is feeding off each other. Also Randy Wells has dominated here with the Cubs.”
  • As for what will actually happen, you have to figure that Travis Wood is the most likely candidate to take the rotation spot, should it open up. Not only did he happen to pitch yesterday, and pitch well in his one big league start this year, he’s been pitching quite well at AAA Iowa. His 4.57 ERA doesn’t look like much, but his FIP is closer to 3, and he’s been quite unlucky with a BABIP that approaches .400. He’s striking out almost a batter an inning and hardly walking anyway. These are all things you like to see.
  • Jeff Samardzija is ready to face the White Sox, and he’s prepping for the matchup the way former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen always did: by trolling the other side. He offered some excellent, sarcastic praiseof the team and Sox broadcasters. “I always liked the [innings] where [Hawk Harrelson] didn’t talk for like an inning and a half. Then all of a sudden he’d be like, ‘The 2-2, two outs …’ It’s like, well, where were the other 15 pitches that happened that inning? That was when [Darrin Jackson] was [on TV] too. I loved watching those guys. They’re entertaining. I always liked his ‘Hose’ call. That was my favorite. They’re fun to watch, fun to listen to. Like I said, you can always get a good nap in during the Sox game.”

  • Bud Selig says he’s working to try and preserve the Cubs/Sox six-game home-and-home when interleague play goes year-round next season. Last we heard, MLB was strongly considering doing away with that setup.
  • Carlos Marmol says he’ll be back soon, once he “figure[s] out how to pitch good again.” Seriously, he actually said that, according to the Tribune.
  • MLBullets at BCB notes how ridiculously good Aroldis Chapman has been in the Reds’ bullpen. Must be nice.

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