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.