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.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.