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ATLANTA – Chris Volstad figures to remain with the Cubs at least until the All-Star break but there is no certainty that he will pitch any time soon.
If Ryan Dempster can start Sunday, the Cubs would need a roster spot and Volstad could find himself on the way out after an outing Tuesday that did not impress the coaching staff.
Zeroing in on the most disappointing moment, it was actually immediately before the five runs in the fifth inning started to pour in. With runners on first and second with nobody out, Volstad walked pinch-hitter Eric Hinske to load the bases. He didn’t come close to escaping the jam.
In the big picture, there seemed to be plenty of disappointment that Volstad shook off catcher Steve Clevenger throughout the outing. The fact that the struggling pitcher didn’t trust the gameplan was not something that went over well.
Afterward, Volstad said he couldn’t recall shaking off very many pitches and actually said he was on the same page with Clevenger.
“Whether he says so or not, I don’t know if you want to call it communication but there was a lot of shaking off going on,” Sveum said. “We’ll try to get to the bottom of it."
Pitching coach Chris Bosio felt the same as Sveum and that shaking off of pitches happened too many times.
“I’ll just say we wandered a little bit from what we like to do and not get to in depth,” Bosio said. “We do have a clear gameplan and when we execute our play for the most part we have been in every game. When we deviate and walk guys or don’t make pitches, we have to make pitches to put the ball in play and not walk guys. That walk yesterday (to Hinske) really hurt us in that inning.”
As a team tries to establish both a starting pitching staff and a bullpen, there have some hits and a whole lot of misses.
“We’ve walked some pitchers and at the same time we’ve got some big hitters out,” Bosio said. “It seems like we pitch well against some of the big boys ad we relax at the worst possible time of the game. There is a lot of room for improvement all around and it seems like we’re in development mode every pitch of every game but that’s where we are.”