After 93 big-league starts, 2005 first-round pick Chris Volstad is still struggling to establish himself. He was optioned to Triple-A on Saturday following an outing Friday in which he allowed four runs — three earned — in five innings against the Mets.
It’s the third straight season in which Volstad has received a midseason demotion. In 2009, he was sent down on Aug. 29. Last year, the move came on July 7. This year, his ERA actually peaked at 6.07 on June 14, but the Marlins stuck with him then and he bounced back to go 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in his final three starts of June. July, unfortunately, was a different story, as he pitched six innings in just one of his four outings. He heads back to Triple-A with a 5-8 record and a 5.58 ERA.
The Marlins have long had high hopes for Volstad, but he’s been one of the game’s worst regular starters since arriving in July 2008. Only four pitchers have started at least 90 games the last four seasons and posted a worse ERA+:
1. Fausto Carmona – 80
2. Kevin Correia – 82
3. Zach Duke – 85
4. Livan Hernandez – 85
5. Volstad – 89
6. Joe Blanton – 91
7. Kyle Lohse – 91
8. Aaron Harang – 92
9. Carl Pavano – 94
10. Barry Zito – 95
Volstad is just 24, and it’s doubtful the Marlins are giving up on him. Still, he’s now out of options, so they won’t be able to go back to this well again next year. The Marlins will likely turn to Brad Hand as Volstad’s replacement in the rotation for now.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.