Chris Volstad joins Pittsburgh Pirates on a minor league deal
By Jake Misener
The Pittsburgh Pirates made an under-the-radar move on Friday, adding further pitching depth by inking lanky veteran right-hander Chris Volstad to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
The former first-round pick of the Marlins spent 2014 in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) as a member of the Doosan Bears, pitching to a disappointing 6.21 earned run average in 17 starts after opening the season with the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, with whom he posted a 6.18 ERA in seven outings – all together combining for a disappointing portrait.
Nonetheless, the Pirates have given the 28-year-old a chance to latch on with his fourth big league club should he show the ability to keep runs off the board – which appears to be a tall task for Volstad, who has not posted an earned run average south of 4.00 since his rookie season back in 2008 with the Marlins.
Since then, he has seen time at the Major League level with both the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies, struggling at each step along the way. Pirates fans will remember his time with Chicago – because, to put it simply, he wasn’t even remotely good in any capacity.
In 21 starts with Chicago back in 2012, the right-hander lost a dozen starts, while once again showcasing an earned run average north of 6.00 to go along with a still-troubling 5.11 FIP and 1.617 WHIP. The Pirates saw Volstad one time that season, roughing him up for six earned in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Moving forward, the Pirates can expect essentially nothing from Volstad – and anything more can be a pleasant surprise. When you’re expecting to compete for a division crown, you don’t bank on pitchers sporting a career 1.454 WHIP – including an atrocious 2.400 WHIP during his last stint at the big league level with the Colorado Rockies – with whom he worked exclusively out of the bullpen.
For now, it’s a low-risk signing. But given the fact that he hasn’t contributed quality innings in over five years, it’s hard to imagine Chris Volstad even seeing Pittsburgh this season.
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