Chris Volstad isn't the second coming of Kerry Wood. Nor Mark Prior. He's nowhere near the pitcher that Matt Clement was when the Cubs got him from the same place, 10 years ago.
But when the 6-foot-8 Volstad walks onto Wrigley Field for the first time in blue pinstripes, he will think he is being mistaken for Greg Maddux. That's how happy Chicago fans will be to see him in place of the utterly unreliable and sometimes anti-social Carlos Zambrano.
God bless Zambrano. And Ozzie Guillen too.
Without Guillen's recommendation, the Marlins would not be trading the mildly disappointing Volstad — a first-round pick with a 4.59 career earned-run average — for Zambrano. They think Zambrano will be a rotation upgrade and yet another reason for fans to come to their new stadium, and maybe they're right.
But after watching Zambrano unravel on a regular basis in the first four years of the five-year, $91.5-million contract he foolishly was awarded on the heels of assaulting teammate Michael Barrett, the Cubs don't really care whether "Big Z" ever gets it together. They are so thrilled to unload him that Chairman Tom Ricketts reportedly is paying $15 million of Zambrano's $18 million salary this season.