CHICAGO -- Casey Coleman wasn’t treating his relief outing Thursday as a rotation audition, he was too busy figuring out how to be successful coming out of the bullpen.
Called on in the third inning when Chris Volstad struggled from the outset, Coleman gave up just one run over four innings and might have set himself up for a start next week.
If Volstad is pulled from the rotation, Coleman and Travis Wood seem to be the club’s top two candidates to face the Astros in Houston.
“It’s was a tough situation but at the same time it’s pitching,” Coleman said. “I haven’t had a lot of bullpen experience so as soon as they told me I was in, it was in between innings so I was able to get in a lot of pitches. The guys down in the bullpen have been helping me out a lot.”
Coleman learned some tricks of the trade quickly like not worrying about all of your pitches, just to make sure to have your top two pitches ready to go.
While glad he was able to help against the Philadelphia Phillies, he sympathizes with Volstad.
“I know what that’s like,” Coleman said. “Last year I struggled quite a bit. It’s tough. In Chicago he wants to do well and he’s capable of doing well. He showed in spring training how good he really is. He’s going to figure it out soon, next start I would assume.”
Not if that start belongs to Coleman or Wood or anybody else the Cubs might call upon.
“Down there we know just know how everybody is capable of pitching in the big leagues,” Coleman said. “You have Travis Wood who has proven he can start in the big leagues. We have Rodrigo Lopez who has obviously had a great career and Chris Rusin, a younger guy who is dominating.
“Everybody knows that everybody is capable down there. We’re pushing each other and everybody knows they can pitch here. Everybody is feeding off each other. Also Randy Wells has dominated here with the Cubs.”