Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Preview, Tuesday 7/3, 6:10 CT

Cubs past meets Cubs future: Atlanta, GA, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo celebrates a home run with left fielder Alfonso Soriano against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Today is Casey Coleman's 25th birthday.

For his present from the Cubs, he got an all-expenses-paid trip to Des Moines, Iowa. Coleman was optioned to Iowa to make room for Chris Volstad, who will start tonight's game against the Braves.

It'll be interesting to see if Coleman goes back into the Iowa rotation, or if he's going to pitch in relief. His major-league future is probably as a reliever.

Meanwhile, Volstad will be given a second chance to prove he belongs in the major leagues. He was pretty awful before being sent down. Maybe he's figured things out. Volstad's still fairly young -- he won't be 26 until September -- and if he has done so, he could be another useful back-of-the-rotation starter.

In other news, David DeJesus is back in the starting lineup after missing a game because he "slept wrong".

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, LaHair RF, Clevenger C, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Volstad P

Braves lineup:

Bourn CF, Prado LF, Heyward RF, Jones 3B, Freeman 1B, Uggla 2B, McCann C, Simmons SS, Jurrjens P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Chris Volstad
Chris Volstad
Cubs
vs. Jair Jurrjens
Jair Jurrjens
Braves
0-6 W-L 1-2
7.46 ERA 6.07
24 SO 12
15 BB 14
3 HR 5
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Chris Volstad 0-6 8 8 0 0 0 0 41.0 51 36 34 3 15 24 7.46 1.61


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jair Jurrjens 1-2 6 6 0 0 0 0 29.2 39 20 20 5 14 12 6.07 1.79

I went and looked at Chris Volstad's splits with hesitation, because I knew as a member of the Marlins, he likely faced the Braves many times. I was pleasantly surprised to see that his nine career starts against them were not horrible -- a 4.22 ERA and 1.369 WHIP. Both of those numbers are far better than his performance so far this season. Current Braves are hitting .286 (30-for-105) against Volstad, also not unreasonable. Maybe we're not doomed after all.

Jair Jurrjens has been solid in two starts after his return from two months on the DL. He last faced the Cubs August 22, 2011 in Atlanta, where he threw 6⅓ shutout innings (although with five walks, and for the 2011 Cubs, that was pretty rare). Current Cubs are 11-for-53 against Jurrjens, but 5-for-21 of that is Ian Stewart, so really, they're 6-for-32. We're probably doomed, but not as clearly as usual.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Braves site Talking Chop.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:10 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:10, 8:10 and 8:55 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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