Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Royals acquire once promising right-handed sinkerballer who has never been able to replicate the success of his rookie season.
Intrepid Fox Sports gopher Joel Goldberg is reporting the Royals have claimed right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. Volstad was pretty much a disaster in his only season in Chicago, posting a 6.31 ERA in 21 starts with just 61 strikeouts and 43 walks in 111 1/3 innings of work. Still just 26 years old, Volstad has five seasons of Major League pitching under his belt and has a 4.87 career ERA in 695 innings.
His best season was his rookie campaign with the Marlins, where he posted a 2.88 ERA in 14 starts, although his strikeout-to-walk-ratio was an abysmal 1.44. Volstad spent three more seasons in the Marlins rotation before being traded to Chicago in the Carlos Zambrano deal.
Volstad is a tall tree at 6'8'', but that height has not translated into much velocity. He can get into the low-90s, but relies mostly on a sinker and slider to induce groundballs. His groundball rate is barely above fifty percent for his career. While his ERA has been pretty awful the last few years, he has underperformed his FIP quite a bit, posting a 5.11 FIP in 2012, and a 4.32 FIP (in comparison to a 4.89 ERA) in 2011. In a lot of ways, he's Luke Hochevar, except for a fraction of the price.
Would this former teammate of Anibal Sanchez's induce the big time free agent to sign here? Does this mean Luke Hochevar is on the way out? Or is this as significant of a signing as Kevin Kouzmanoff last winter? Only Mission 2013 will tell.