Cubs select contract of Blake Lalli, Option Chris Volstad to Iowa

The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of catcher Blake Lalli from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad to Triple-A.

Lalli, who joins the first major league roster of his professional career, will wear uniform number 47 and be available for the Cubs today against the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field.

Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 40 players.

Lalli, 29, owns a .298 career batting average (593-for-1,990) with 126 doubles, 36 home runs and 274 RBI in 591 minor league contests since he was signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent, May 22, 2006. He has struck out just 291 times in 2,208 plate appearances and owns a .361 career on-base percentage. He has played 300 games at first base, 109 games at catcher and has made 18 career relief appearances on the mound, going 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA (5 ER/14.0 IP).

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Lalli is a three-time Southern League mid-season All-Star, earning the honor in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Additionally, he earned Southern League post-season honors in 2009 after finishing the season with a .314 batting average in 118 games for Double-A Tennessee.

A left-handed batter, Lalli was a non-roster invitee to major league Spring Training for the second time in 2012 (also in 2010), and in his first career action at the Triple-A level has appeared in 20 games for Iowa, hitting .178 (13-for-73) with two doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI. He has played 15 games behind the plate and appeared at first base in two contests.

Volstad, 25, is 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA (34 ER/41.0 IP) in eight starts for the Cubs after he was acquired from Miami, January 5, 2012, for pitcher Carlos Zambrano and a cash consideration.