According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, Randy Wells “appears to be a virtual lock” for one of the two vacancies in the Cubs rotation.
Wells was solid once again Thursday. Wells threw four more shutout innings and has not allowed an earned run this spring …. One run, unearned, on six hits in nine innings with two walks and six strikeouts (0.88 WHIP). Mike Quade said he would not name his fourth and fifth starters until the end of the Cactus League schedule (reportedly somewhere between March 20 – March 26).
According to the Trib, Randy Wells would “probably have to fall on his face to lose the job.” Mike Quade has liked what’s he seen from Wells to this point.
“We’ve seen him pitch this way on occasion. It’s not like he’s doing something to me that I haven’t seen before. … He’s doing exactly what he needs to do, and he’s done it consistently, knock on wood, so far this spring.”
Randy Wells was very good in his first big league season. After a call-up from Triple-A to fill in for the injured Carlos Zambrano, Wells was able to get the job done start after start and found a home in the rotation. In fact, Wells’ success allowed the Cubs to move Sean Marshall to the pen when Zambrano returned … from injury and suspension.
Wells posted a 12-10 record with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 27 starts in 2009. Wells finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting and appeared to be well on his way to a solid big league career.
After a solid start to the 2010 season (3-0 in five April starts with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP), Wells did not post a win in May or June. Wells struggled mightily with himself, and throwing strikes and posted a 5.40 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in May … and it got worse in June, a 6.14 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP.
Wells was more consistent for a bad team after the break. He posted a 4-7 record in 14 starts with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
Randy Wells showed growing pains in his first full year at the big league level but he still managed to throw 194 1/3 innings in 32 starts. With better run support and a better pen early in the 2010 campaign, Wells’ win-loss record (which is an archaic stat) would have ended up better than the 8-14 mark he finished with last season.