Cubs drop Chris Volstad and his 7.46 ERA from the rotation

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Chris Volstad has been booted from the Cubs’ rotation and optioned to Triple-A after the 25-year-old right-hander went 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA in eight starts.

Volstad’s secondary numbers aren’t nearly as bad as his hideous ERA and he was generally a decent back-of-the-rotation starter for the Marlins from 2008-2011, but it’s tough to stick with a guy who’s given up 36 runs in 41 innings and the Cubs have a capable replacement in Travis Wood waiting in the wings at Triple-A.

Wood hasn’t officially been called up yet, but Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that he’ll step into Volstad’s rotation spot beginning Tuesday versus the Astros. He was acquired from the Reds in the Sean Marshall trade and the 25-year-old left-hander has a 4.19 ERA in 215 career innings.

Volstad came to Chicago in the Carlos Zambrano deal and will be paid $2.6 million in the minors.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.