It's a good thing the Chicago Cubs are in the middle of a major organizational overhaul. Otherwise, a manager's comments --like Dale Sveum's in this case-- that suggest the possibility of Chris Volstad and Travis Wood being potential starters next season would be met with calls for his head. After all, the two pitchers are a combined 6-20 and have a collective ERA over five. However, Sveum --who is using much more sound logic than you might think-- says that he "doesn't see why not" when asked if Volstad and Wood would be potential rotation place holders next season.
I don't think Sveum's admittance is a ringing endorsement of either pitcher, but you can't argue with him when he says these two pitchers have battled and have given the Cubs a boatload of innings. While that seems like a cop-out, in a season where the Cubs have been throwing almost every pitcher in the organization to the wolves, those innings are important.
Sveum's "endorsement" has more to do with practicality than it does with underlining confidence in the pitchers: "There's going to be a lot of things that happen this winter with the roster, I'm sure. You're talking about guys that can pitch, pitch innings who a lot of teams would like. They're fourth and fifth starters and hopefully trying to get better to get into a bigger role to be starters, too. I definitely think they're in the mix." Backhanded compliments to be sure, but compliments nonetheless.
I understand how an organizational reboot works, so I don't think I'm not expecting too much. But it would be a lie if I said I was "excited" to see Volstad and Wood back in the Cubs' rotation next season. To Wood's credit, he has had a handful of exceptional starts --certainly by a fourth or fifth starter's traditional standards. Even with those starts though, he's still 4-11 with an ERA pushing five..and he's the better of the two.
But as you're busy trying to bring in more talent, I guess you have to take what you can get until then.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed Major League Baseball throughout.Sources
- Sports & Recreation
- Dale Sveum
- Chris Volstad
- Chicago Cubs
- Travis Wood