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Chris Volstad claimed off waivers by Royals

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Pitcher Chris Volstad, a former first-round pick, is coming off the worst season of his career.

John Gress

The Kansas City Royals have claimed right-hander Chris Volstad off waivers from the Chicago Cubs, according to an announcement made by the team on Thursday.

Volstad, a former first-round pick, had the worst season of his career in 2012, going 3-12 with a 6.31 ERA in 21 starts for the Cubs. The 26-year-old is 35-51 with a 4.87 ERA in 124 career appearances since making his debut with the Florida Marlins in 2008. Volstad's rookie year was his best, as he went 6-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) for the Marlins.

The move is a low-risk pickup for a Royals team that had the second-worst quality start rate -- 43 percent -- in the majors last season. Only the lowly Minnesota Twins were worse. Kansas City is hoping the right-hander can unlock the potential that made him worthy of a first-round pick in 2005.

Volstad's acquisition fills out the Kansas City's 40-man roster.