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.