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Volstad open to transitioning to bullpen role


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Non-roster right-hander Chris Volstad welcomed the news that he will be competing for a spot in the Rockies' bullpen.

Volstad, 26, is 0-0 with a 1.29 ERA over seven innings in three Cactus League games, although he did give up four runs in three innings in an exhibition game against Team USA's World Baseball Classic squad. But Volstad has thrown short stints in a Minor League game and in a "B" game. In the "B" game on Sunday against the White Sox, Volstad threw two scoreless innings and forced a double-play grounder.

The right-hander went 3-12 with a 6.31 ERA in 21 starts for the Cubs last year, and is 35-51 in his career with the Marlins and Cubs.

"Relief experience? Not much at all -- my very first game in the big leagues was out of the bullpen," said Volstad, who has started all 123 of his Major League appearances since that one in 2008. "But whatever it takes, I just want to pitch, be a part of the team, help the team. If that means being a long relief guy, I'm fine with that."

Volstad's pay will be based on a $1.5 million salary if or when he makes the Majors. He is part of a crowd of pitchers competing for three-to-four spots. They include righties Adam Ottavino, Edgar Escalona, Manny Corpas and Miguel Batista, and lefties Josh Outman and Danny Rosenbaum. Additionally, right-hander Tyler Chatwood could be in the middle relief mix if he does not make the rotation.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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