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.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.