Chicago Cubs: Time Running Out On Geovany Soto & Chris Volstad

By Andrew Fisher

After 34 games this season, the Chicago Cubs still find themselves in last place in the Central division. They salvaged a series win yesterday against the Milwaukee Brewers, and now head south for a crucial early season matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Half-way into May, it’s usually clear what’s working with any team. For the Cubs, starting pitching has been working, as well as the bats, from a few select players.

The middle of May is when, what’s not working, also starts to be apparent. Two names in particular come to mind in the not working department, Geovany Soto and Chris Volstad.

Soto is just not cutting the mustard, period. He’s hitting a measly .151, with 3 home runs, and 5 RBI. Not to mention only throwing out 7 of 31 runners attempting to steal on him. His 24 stolen bases allowed, give him the 2nd most in all of baseball.

Once back-up Steve Clevenger returns from the DL, I see no reason not to give him a shot. In limited action this season, Clevenger is 11/22 at the plate. It would be very hard for him to perform worse than Soto offensively.

I haven’t seen him enough behind the plate to make a determination there, but the guy made a big league roster as a catcher… I’m sure he’ll do just fine.

As for pitcher Chris Volstad, the team has said he will make his next start, but I have a feeling it could be his last for awhile. Volstad has had numerous chances (7 to be exact), to get a win, and has yet to succeed this season. He’s currently sporting a 6.92 ERA, and just can’t stay away from the big inning.

I’m not completely writing off Volstad yet, I’m just saying if he can’t get it going, let someone else have a chance. The top 4 spots in the Cubs rotation as basically locked in, so the last spot should be filled by whoever is performing the best out of Travis Wood, Randy Wells, or Volstad.

Volstad deserves his next start, but if he fails again, it’s time to let Travis Wood get a shot. He pitched well enough to win in his only start earlier this season. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but he threw 6 solid innings, and the Cubs eventually pulled out a win. Volstad has just not done that this season.

Regardless of who fills the final spot in the Cubs rotation, you certainly can’t expect too much from them, but someone can do a better job than Volstad currently is.

For both Soto and Volstad, it’s put up or shut up time. They’ve had their chances, and if they aren’t performing, the backups deserve a chance on this young Cubs team.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish

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