Travis Wood auditioning for Volstad's spot in rotation?

Some may be looking at Travis Wood’s start on Sunday as an audition for the starting rotation.

However, Dale Sveum says not so fast.

He still wants to give Chris Volstad more time to straighten out his big inning issues. It appears the Cubs are zeroing in on those tendencies. They believe it could be Volstad isn’t comfortable pitching from the stretch mechanically.

 “It might be pitching out of the stretch for some reason,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Not being as effective out of the stretch or he can't keep the ball down out of the stretch. Whatever it might be we've got to get it fixed.”

Volstad entered with Saturday with a .444 opponents’ batting average with runners in scoring position and a .429 opponents’ batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs.

If Wood has a good showing Sunday could it be Volstad may get bumped to the bullpen soon?

 “Yeah I think it's way too early for that, there's no question about it,” Sveum said. “It's just somehow getting through those innings. When people get on, for some reason he's having trouble getting out of that. Obviously when nobody's on, he's been pretty efficient in all of his innings when nobody's on base.”

It’s also a possibility Volstad is just pressing with men on base and it’s becoming more of a mental issue.

 “Runners on from the stretch has been a struggle; it’s no secret,” Volstad said. “That one inning. I just have to be better in those situations. That’s all it comes down to.”

Volstad has not won a decision since last July, that has to be weighing on him mentally.

I have had some impatience when it comes to certain players so far this season. Usually it's been reserved for guys who don't figure big picture wise. However, when it comes to a player with some upside like Volstad you exude a bit more patience.

Now let’s see if pitching coach Chris Bosio can be a difference maker and have an effect either of these two possible long-term fits in Volstad and Wood.




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  • Yeah, I agree. Volstad hasn't shown us much but there's just so much upside there you gotta give him more time.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I'm with ya C.H. I think it's a sign of the times how everyone wants instant gratification, instant results. With this situation, what else can we do but be patient? Lol. Seriously, Volstadt has no minors options. The F.O. sees upside with him. They know what they have with R. Wells, and Volstadt has more upside than Wells. T. Wood has minors options left. If Volstadt has mental issues and/or stretch issues, putting him in the bullpen (because you can't send him down) will only make it worse. It may not be pretty watching a rebuild with these growing pains, but this is how we're gonna find out what we really have and what needs to be done. If they fix V, we end up with a pretty good piece. Considering the circumstances, I don't know what else they're suppose to do. I'm willing to be patient.

  • In reply to Bill:

    Good points Bill. I will be patient if I see the potential, and with Volstad I do. Let's just hope this staff can do something about it. I hate to think that Dave Duncan would have this guy wining 14 games but I do.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I hope this staff can do something with him too. I was thinking the same thing about Duncan! Lol. I hate to say it, but I thought him and even Don Cooper.

  • In reply to Bill:

    For the record, Volstad has two minor league options left, but, because of service time, he would have to clear assigment waivers, ala DeWitt and Wells. I can see teams passing on DeWitt and Wells, but not so sure on Volstad. The waivers are revocable, however, so he could always be pulled back if necessary.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Hey thanks Norway. I didn't realize that.

  • Maybe the Cubs need to have a sports psychologist on the staff to get between the ears of guys like Volstad and Marmol to straighten out whatever mental blocks they may have. The starters are showing that they can keep this team in ballgames but whenever it"s Volstads time to pitch, I pretty much figure on a Cubs loss.

  • In reply to Larry H:

    Damn, hate to admit it but that is kinda the truth. Volstad probably doesn't get the best run support because his team may feel the same way?

  • I really think they should consider moving him over to the bullpen and stretching him out a little in long relief. Some guys tend to do better in the bullpen and others are just born for the rotation. I hate to see him get cut loose and end up somewhere else pitching effectively out of the bullpen. It doesn't hurt and you still have guys like Wood and Wells that you can call up to fill the spot on the rotation.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    No giving up on Volstad this year period.

  • fb_avatar

    Tom, maybe you and John know something about this, but some guys on Brett's site were talking about Garza talks with the Yankees and possibly the Tigers heating up last night..It was based on a Yahoo article, which I couldn't find..but they alluded to the possibility that that's why he wasn't pitching today as maybe a precursor to a deal..Have you guys heard anything.?? I'm sure you'd have posted it by now if it had legs..but just checking

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Not heard anything on that.

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    He has the flu as far as I know, but it wouldn't surprise me if both teams were interested in Garza...and also Ryan Dempster.

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