Chris Volstad will be called up today to start in place of Randy Wells/Ryan Dempster, and Casey Coleman is expected to be the man shipped out to make room. Today is Coleman’s 25th birthday. Oof.

Volstad, 25, is getting his second chance to stick with the big club after making the rotation out of Spring Training this year, and then sinking spectacularly – his ERA stood at 7.46 when he was finally demoted to AAA Iowa. There, Volstad started eight games, putting up a 4.44 ERA and 1.402 WHIP. At least his K/BB was the best he’s had in the high minors in his career. Volstad said he was working on his mindset at Iowa more than his mechanics.

Assuming Ryan Dempster doesn’t miraculously return before the All-Star break, Volstad will probably get two starts to try and re-insert himself at the big league level. It worked for Travis Wood, who didn’t make the club out of Spring Training, but has been the team’s best starter by far for over a month now. If Volstad pitches well in these two starts, the Cubs will probably be able to find a place for him in the rotation for the rest of the season, assuming Dempster and/or Matt Garza are traded in July.

As for the odd man out, Casey Coleman worked in relief with the Cubs this time around, and didn’t have much success. His ERA on the year stands at 7.32, though it was at 4.50 until he gave up seven earned in his last outing (the New York Mets Massacre). I still like the possibility of Coleman as a reliever, where he can hit 93/94 mph, and throw a pretty nice slider. He’s just got to work on that craft, and I hope he gets the chance at Iowa. I could understand the Cubs trying to preserve value by putting him back in the rotation at AAA – he is still just 25, after all – but I think I’m ready to see what he’d look like if he fully committed to becoming a reliever.

  • Mysterious4th

    Watching coleman go more then an inning or two is very very painful. I know we have a number of pen/closer guys in the minors but he’s 25 they need to commit him to something he can suceed in and not watch him flame out in something we’ve seen him try and royall suck at! Camp at some point will need some rest (possibly DL) so why not get coleman workin on his stuff for the pen?!

  • TonyP

    There goes the winning streak :-(


  • Mysterious4th

    Id say our pen has been rested pretty well so if volstad is tanking we could pull him and let the pen work…..


    We’ve seen what they can do and its usually pretty ugly!

  • @cubsfantroy

    Sucks that Coleman has to get booted, but I would rather see Volstad come up and try to pitch rather than have Coleman last a couple of innings and tax the bullpen until the AS break.

  • FromFenwayPahk


  • MikeW

    That 4.50 ERA was smoke and mirrors. His WHIP was sky high too. I’m done with Coleman. He’s not big league caliber…even if it is his birthday.

    This two game audition might be Volstads last chance with the Cubs. Hope he makes the most of it.

    • ETS

      I doubt it’s his last chance. Maybe last chance this year.

      isn’t he under control for a couple more years yet?

      • MikeW

        Yep, but he’s arbitration eligible, and made 2.65M this year. I doubt if he bombs again this time around, the Cubs are gonna want to invest another 3M in him for 2013.

  • Carew

    Man i am rootin for Volstad. I believe he can be something, and when he keeps the ball down, he has some sick stuff.

    • baldtaxguy

      Same here. Hoping for him to really get it together and take advantage of this second chance.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)
    • Luke

      I doubt he would be available for anything the Cubs would be willing to give.

      • ibcnu2222 (John)

        True. I just think his stats are ridiculous. 100 SBs in only 78 games. That’s Ricky Hendersonesque

        • Cyranojoe

          Notice he’s been caught stealing 21 times in addition to the 100 SBs. Same numbers last year in more games. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it’s a ~17% CS rate. Meanwhile, Tony’s got 25 steals, 3 CS, in 56 games v. pro ballers. That’s a 10% CS rate.

          As always, it’s too bad the guy can’t get on base more often. 😛

  • RY34

    Thank God! Love the “happy birthday, now get the hell out of here”!

  • CubFan Paul

    Hopefully Coleman gets stretched out again. I see him as our next Randy Wells, while he’s still cheap the next few years. Soft tossing RHP with good control has a lot value as a national league 5th starter

    • Carew

      If he is indeed the next Randy Wells, then lets get rid of him now

      • CubFan Paul

        Randy was “serviceable” (Brett used the word “excellent”) his first two years starting, that’s all i’m saying in house cheap/minimum salary 5th starter is always nice til arbitration

      • hansman1982

        Wells did have success for about a year and a half. You need guys like Wells and Coleman as there is no way possible to keep a 5 man rotation healthy and productive all year and you still need to get 14-1500 innings our of your pitching staff.

    • Edwin

      Coleman doesn’t really have that good of control though. Since 2010 he’s pitched 161 MLB innings. During that stretch his BB/9 is 4.42, 1.78 standard deviations below average.

      His K/9 is just 6.32, .47 standard deviations below average. His GB% is 44.90%, which is exactly average.

      I think he’s better off as a relief pitcher, but even then I’m doubtful he amounts to much more than a middle relief pitcher.


      Also, since AA, his FIP hasn’t been that good. The best he’s put up is 3.62 in 2012 so far. I just don’t see any point in trying him as a starter anymore.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I hope they pull Volstadt at 4 innings. The Braves wont have caught to him unti the 4th. Volstadt needs ro pitch out of the pen he is no starter. Coleman is garbage and they need to just let him go
    He has no future and is only torturing us
    I hope they find somebody else in The system to work with. If all we can find is Colemamman

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Why do we continue to recycle pitchers who arent good enuff to pitch on any other team in b

  • czechxican

    Like Wells second promotion up this year, surely this is Volstad’s “second chance” or gone audition. Is it safe to assume that OR are the Cubs really this thin in minors pitching?

  • Spencer

    Coleman was definitely the “take one for the team” guy in that Mets game. He’s better than his numbers indicate. Volstad, on the other hand……

    • Edwin

      Why is Coleman better than his numbers indicate?

  • Josh

    I don’t know who I’d rather have, Wells, Volstad, or Coleman. I think Volstad because he does well for 4-5 innings but always has 1 awful inning. I’m starting to think he won’t get past that as it happened again tonight, but overall his stuff is much better than Coleman’s and Wells can’t throw strikes right now