Chris Volstad could be a cheap rotation option for the Cubs

Chris Volstad could be a cheap rotation option for the Cubs

Just 4 years ago, Chris Volstad was considered the top prospect in the Florida Marlins farm system, ranking ahead of guys like Mike Stanton and Gaby Sanchez.  Things have changed since then. Last year he was just 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA and, according to MLBTradeRumors, he is now a non-tender candidate.

There are some things to like.  Volstad continued to show good control, walking just 2.66 batters per 9 innings.  His xFIP was a very respectable 3.64, perhaps indicating that he could bounce back with some better luck and some better defense.

His stuff is solid but not spectacular.  His ceiling is more of a #3 starter than a front of the rotation type, though he has pitched more like a bottom of the rotation type for most of his career.  At his best Volstad works in the low 90s and features a slider, a curveball, and a change-up.  When he was the Marlins top prospect, it was his curve that was considered his go-to breaking pitch but he's turned more and more to his slider the past two seasons, throwing it nearly 20% of the time last season while throwing his curveball less than 10% of the time for the first time in his career.

That being said, it was his fastball that proved most hittable last season, even though there was no drop in velocity.  Some feel that he's just around the strike zone too much with it and hitters are simply digging in. If the Cubs' scouts see something they can change in terms of approach perhaps they can take a flyer on the young pitcher.  He's still just 25 and is under team control for the next three seasons.  It's minimal risk and considering his age and talent, there's still some upside left.

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  • Volstad was once viewed as a future 2nd , 3rd guy in the rotation, I say let's kick the tires. Like you said John, he's cheap and he still has some upside, what the heck?

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    It can't hurt. Sometimes a change in scenery, coaching, and approach can make all the difference in the world. If he doesn't reach his potential,then you really don't lose much.

  • He's a 'yawn' candidate, but I guess you have to look everywhere.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I think you hope to bring in a quality big free agent pitcher like Darvish, Buehrle, or even Edwin Jackson. If you can't do it reasonably, then I think the alternative might be to bring in some quality arms and see who emerges. One thing is certain and the Cubs need starting pitchers and like you say, you've got to look everywhere.

  • This guy is a stud compared to the likes of Rodrigo Lopez and Ramon Ortiz. I cringed whenever it was announced that they were taking the hill.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    Oh man...just hearing those name again made me shudder. And don't forget Doug Davis!

  • Just how bad was the Cubs pitching last year?? There ya go.
    Frankly, on any given day I didn't really have confidence in any of 'em except for Garza. IMO... nowhere to go but up.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    Same here. I'd like to see us bring in a top arm if we can but I'd also like us to improve the talent overall, especially at the upper levels of the minors.

  • Incredible numbers...Give him $3 Million a year with

  • why not?

  • John ... I found some "oddities" here ... He's been a relatively predictable 6 inning pitcher, averaging 90 pitches per start. His numbers (at I read them) don't show enough to, in my opinion, justify him as much more than Wells (though he is 3 yrs younger).

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    He may not turn out to be any better than Wells but I like him better because of his youth and is due to make about $1M less. Most of all, he still has upside while Wells has likely already peaked.

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