Volstad with the Florida Marlins
September 23, 1986 |
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
|July 6, 2008 for the Florida Marlins|
(through June 24, 2015)
|Earned run average||4.92|
Christopher "Chris" Kenneth Volstad (born September 23, 1986) is an American professional baseball right-handed pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) and 230 pounds (100 kg), and is a 2005 graduate of Palm Beach Gardens High School. He has also played in MLB for the Florida Marlins, Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies and in Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) for the Doosan Bears.
Volstad played in amateur baseball tournaments from a young age, winning the championship in a 12-and-under travel competition for a team representing Broward and Palm Beach counties, against a team representing California's Central Valley, at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. David Adams was a teammate.
Volstad graduated from Palm Beach Gardens Community High School in 2005, pitching to a 7-2 win–loss record with one save and a 0.41 earned run average (ERA) in 10 games for the school's baseball team as a senior, striking out 98 batters and walking just eight in 69 innings pitched. He led his team deep into the regional playoffs, coming up one game short of States.
Minor league career
In his first season of professional baseball, Volstad went 4-3 in 13 starts (with 55 K's in 65 IP) between the GCL Marlins and Jamestown Jammers of the New York–Penn League ( Short season A) with a 2.22 ERA.
Volstad never returned to Jamestown, instead starting out 2006 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League (Class A). He went 11-8 over 26 starts with a 3.08 ERA. He was named the Marlins' #1 prospect in Baseball America's annual rankings.
Volstad started his second full pro season with the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League (Class A-Advanced). He struggled somewhat compared to his first season and a half, going 8-9 in 21 games (20 starts) with a 4.50 ERA. However, in later action with Florida's AA affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats of the Southern League, he improved to a 4-2 record and a 3.16 ERA.
In 2008, Volstad continued at Carolina, posting a 4-4 record, 3.36 ERA in 15 starts before being promoted to the major leagues.
Major league career
Volstad is a sinkerballer. He throws his sinker about half the time, averaging at 91 MPH. His secondary pitch is a mid-80s slider. He also features a straight fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. He throws his changeup primarily to left-handed hitters and his slider primarily to right-handed hitters.
On July 6, 2008, the Marlins purchased Volstad's contract and added him to the active roster. He made his major league debut the same day in a game against the Colorado Rockies, earning the win with 2 scoreless innings from the bullpen.
On July 11, 2008 Volstad started his first major league game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, earning the win and baffling the Dodger hitters with a 94 mph fastball and sharp 12-6 curveball. Volstad pitched 8⅔ innings, and gave up 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 6. Volstad added his first major league hit in this game: a single off the Dodgers starter Eric Stults.
On August 7, 2008, Volstad delivered a masterful performance against the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies to reduce their lead in the division to 1½ games. He pitched 6 innings of shutout baseball, outdueling Cole Hamels of the Phillies.
On July 9, 2009, Volstad pitched what many could argue as the best game of his career. Against the San Francisco Giants, he pitched his first career complete game allowing only five hits and no runs. His win helped the Marlins avoid a sweep in San Francisco.
In September 2010, Volstad was involved in a bench clearing brawl against the Washington Nationals. In the day's previous game, the Nationals' Nyjer Morgan intentionally ran into Marlins' catcher Brett Hayes on a play at home plate where Morgan was called out. Hayes separated his shoulder and it was determined later that night that he would miss the remainder of the season. In Morgan's first at-bat, Volstad threw at Morgan, hitting him. Morgan proceeded to steal two bases when the Marlins had an almost double digit lead, breaking an unwritten rule of ethics in the game. Offended by Morgan once again, Volstad threw another pitch at Morgan in his next at-bat, with it going behind Morgan's back. Morgan quickly charged the mound, despite the fact that Volstad stood nearly a foot taller than him. Morgan's punch at Volstad missed, and Morgan was promptly clotheslined by Marlins' first baseman Gaby Sánchez, resulting in the bench-clearing brawl. Volstad was suspended for 6 games because of the incident.
On January 5, 2012, The Marlins traded him to the Chicago Cubs for Carlos Zambrano. On May 18, 2012, Volstad was sent to Triple A Iowa after an 0-6 slump. On July 3, 2012, Volstad was called back up to the Cubs. He made a start later that day, giving up 6 runs over 4.1 innings, and getting the loss against the Atlanta Braves.
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
On January 30th, 2015, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Volstad to a minor league deal. Then, after pitching in relief for two scoreless innings in a game on Jun 24, 2015, Volstad was designated for assignment alongside Jose Tabata on Jun 28 to make room for Gorkys Hernandez and Steve Lombardozzi, Jr..
- "PITCHf/x Player Card: Christopher Volstad". Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- Frisaro, Joe (2008-07-06). "Volstad goes in rotation following debut". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- Frisaro, Joe (2009-08-28). "Volstad optioned to Triple-A after loss". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- Frisaro, Joe (2012-01-04). "Cubs, Marlins closing in on Big Z deal". MLB.com. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben (October 26, 2012). "Royals Claim Chris Volstad". MLB Trade Rumors.
- Kaegel, Dick (20 November 2012). "Royals make moves to finalize 40-man roster". MLB.com via KC Royals. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- October 2013 minor league transactions
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Career statistics and player information from Korea Baseball Organization