Chris Volstad to Iowa, Blake Lalli to Chicago (UPDATE: Travis Wood Will Take Volstad’s Rotation Spot)
A busy day gets busier.
The Cubs must have been thinking ahead, because Chris Volstad was just optioned to AAA Iowa. That means he was placed on revocable waivers at some point in the last couple weeks, and cleared (as is expected in this kind of situation – as I’ve explained before, when it’s a 25-year-old who’s got issues, and the waivers are revocable (the Cubs can pull him back if someone makes a claim), teams don’t make a claim, because they know the Cubs would just pull Volstad back. Thus, all that a claim accomplishes is to “block” the Cubs, and piss them off).
Volstad will try to sort things out, presumably in the Iowa rotation, and Travis Wood could come up whenever Kerry Wood retires. Otherwise, the Cubs could let Casey Coleman take Volstad’s spot in the rotation. I’m betting on Wood.
Blake Lalli is called up to serve as an interim back-up catcher while Geovany Soto heads to the disabled list, and while Steve Clevenger continues to recovery from an oblique strain/cartilage break. Lalli, 29, has played a number of positions in his long minor league career, and doesn’t provide a ton of offense (though he could do what you might expect from a back-up catcher in the post-Koyie Hill era). Lalli is a career .298/.361/.417 hitter in the minors (mostly as an older guy at his level), but is hitting just .178/.176/.329 at AAA Iowa.
Lalli’s addition to the 40-man roster leaves it at 40, for now. It’ll drop back to 39 when Wood retires.
UPDATE: Like the headline says, Travis Wood will indeed take Chris Volstad’s vacated rotation spot on Tuesday.