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Volstad ready to seize opportunity with Sox

Reliever held opponents scoreless through first 5 appearances
MLB.com @RichardJustice

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- How it'll all shake out with the White Sox bullpen won't be decided for a while. So if it comes down to the final day, veteran right-hander Chris Volstad will roll with the punches.

He has done everything he can at this point. In five appearances entering Monday, he has allowed one baserunner and no runs in 7 2/3 innings.

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- How it'll all shake out with the White Sox bullpen won't be decided for a while. So if it comes down to the final day, veteran right-hander Chris Volstad will roll with the punches.

He has done everything he can at this point. In five appearances entering Monday, he has allowed one baserunner and no runs in 7 2/3 innings.

View Full Game Coverage

"I'm taking this as an opportunity," he said. "You're always trying to evolve and get better. Mechanical changes the last couple of seasons. Really feeling good about some adjustments I made halfway through last year."

Spring Training info

If Volstad doesn't make it, he'll return to Triple-A Charlotte for a third straight season and wait for a chance. Having pitched in 13 big league games since 2013, and having spent '14 in Korea to jumpstart his career, patience is a strength.

He appreciates that the White Sox invited him to Major League Spring Training to give him a crack at a job.

"This is my third year with this team," he said. "They treat you well. The guys in the organization are great. Coaching staff, working with everyone. Charlotte's a great city to be in.

"Just having an opportunity to play. You realize the more years you play that there aren't too many. You've got to take the opportunity while you can. If you're in Triple-A, you're one step away from the big leagues, and you never know what can happen."

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That was the case last season when he earned a September callup and made two starts and four relief appearances.

"I finished the season at Triple-A," he said, "and then a couple of things happened and they needed some help in September. I went up and was there for the last month of the season."

When it ended, he returned to his home in Jupiter, Fla., and went back to his second career as a brewmaster.

"Well, I'm in quality control," he joked. "Actually, I can clean kegs, clean tanks, that sort of thing. I'd like to get more involved with the recipes and brewing down the road."

Civil Society Brewing Company celebrated its second anniversary last fall. He's in business with his cousin Karl Volstad and Evan Miller. They're the experts.

"My cousin Karl started a home-brewing company, then going to festivals, sampling beers, all of that," Chris Volstad said. "Everything kind of fell into place for it to get started. I'd like to be able to contribute more than just cleaning kegs. I'd like to be able to learn the brewing process and be able to run a brew on my own, but that's a long way down the road."

There's exactly zero baseball memorabilia in the place, but he'll occasionally hear from a former teammate who'll text, "I'm in your place."

For now, Volstad is focused on making the White Sox, on being part of the new wave of talent on the horizon for the organization. He has pitched well enough to be in the mix for a spot, and after 13 years in the sport, he might have some perspective to offer as well.

"It's kind of a cliche, everybody says it, but just focus on what I can do," he said, "and maybe enjoy the process a little bit more instead of focusing on things I can't control or outcomes -- things like that."

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Chicago White Sox, Chris Volstad