Randy Wells a Lock for the Cubs Rotation?

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.

Quade from the Tribune:

“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.

Randy Wells’ Page on Baseball-Reference

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  • Tony

    I like our rotation, if we can actually break camp with a better version of Wells. Wells may actually win 15 games pitching like this (There I said it Rip!)

    A rotation of Demspter, Zambrano, Garza, Wells, Cashner would be nice to see. No true top of the rotation studs, but a lot of guys that, from time to time, play one on TV. This rotation, would give the Cubs a chance every day, and would put the success or failure of this season, squarely on the offense, that just doesn’t look good enough, no matter how well the pitching staff pitches. Then again, the SP, were never the issue last year, and only the middle relief was a question mark, like most every team, at that part of the game.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Ya’ll drinkin’ the Cubs’ Kool-Aid so early in the morning? You must be, if you’ll FINALLY admit Wells is worth 15 wins in 2011. LOL

      I tell you Wells can do it **IF**the Cubs can score a few runs. PENA LOOKS AWFUL. A weak tap back to the pitcher looks pretty good right now. The Cubs are going to wish they had just moved Colvin to 1B, and saved that $10 million for Sorry-oh-no’s contract extension. LOL

      But we need six or seven starters. So who are the next two in line?
      I actually think the Cubs may move Silva somewhere else. But who in their right mind would want him? The Mexican League?

      Coleman deserves a much better shot than the Cubs are giving him in ST. I hope he makes the team and does well.

      • Tony

        Yes Rip, I was up early, and the coffee had the blue tint again….but if Wells can keep not giving up runs, he can win 15, as I am pretty sure, that the Cubs offense can score 1 or 2 runs over 9 innings. Unfortunately, I believe he will need the normal 4 or 5 runs, that wins games, so I don’t see him actually winning 15.

        Pena was a bad deal when he signed, he is a bad deal today, and I really doubt, that anything can happen that will make it a good deal. Hoping for a rebound, is never a good thing, at $10M bucks!

        Coleman is my next guy, and I would love to see this guy get a chance this year, as I think he is better, than his “stuff” looks.

        As far as a 7th, that will be hopefully later in the year, where we can get one of our up and comers, that is having a good year up.

        My question is would we win that many more or less games if we had this for a rotation – Demspter/Zambrano/Wells/Cashner/Coleman and still had our prospects. Would that rotation, keep this team from winning in 2011. I don’t think so, yes Garza, should help the rotation, but in 2011, I don’t think it moves the needle. I would much rather have the prospects back, and saved the cash, and given another rotation spot to a young guy.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Garza looks like Gasoline Alley.

      • PleaseStopLosing

        Just try not to think about the fact that Archer has thrown 4.1 innings for Tampa Bay and not given up an Earned Run with just 2 hits….

        Or that Chirinos has hit 2 walk-off homers and is hitting to the tune of .389/.476/.944…

        Disregard those 2 sets of statistics (and the fact that we threw in Hak-Ju Lee) and it makes the trade seem a lot better for us…

        Way to go Jim!!!

        PS- The way Pena is playing I am trying to decide whether I will enjoy watching him play 1st this year, for all that money, or I will enjoy watching him not play 1st next year, for all that money we deferred to next year more… That’s a tough one.

        Someone get me a fresh glass of Kool-Aid… the last one is starting to wear off!

        • Ripsnorter1

          Boy, do I agree with you. When I did the analysis after the trade, comparing Garza to Randy Wells, then I almost had a conniption. I discovered that Wells, whom some on this forum were ready to ship to AAA, was only very marginally worse than Garza. The big stat of difference is that Wells has never thrown a complete game, while Garza has a handful.

          Hey, we’ll see who wins more games this year: Garza or Wells. And I ain’t bettin’ on Garza, either.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Steve Phillips, former GM of the Mets, and lover of size 16-18 women he’s not married to, says that Carlos Pena has a hole in his swing the size of Prince Fielder’s gut. “You’d better hope the Rudy the Jar-man can fix it, because his hitting coach last year couldn’t.”

          BUT*BUT*BUT*BUT–says Jim Clueless–” Don’t forget that Rudy is the best in the business. I gave him $10 million for 3 years to really get our sticks going. And look at the success he had with us last year–we were 18th in runs scored; 21st in OBP; 16th in BA and 17th is slugging.” Did you know that Texas, once they dropped Rudy, went to 1st in MLB in batting, when with Rudy, they were 19th?

          Rudy and Carlos Pena: two of a kind!

        • carmelo

          FYI–Archer has 5 walks in 4 innings—tell the whole story—I guess that would mean in around 150 innings he would walk around 160 hitters. Let’s hold off judging the trade for possibly a year or two. Easy to play Monday Morning QB after each performance.

          • PleaseStopLosing

            Well– Garza has 5 walks in 6.2 innings… That’s not wonderful.
            Not to mention an ERA of 14.85… But your right, its the walks that make the difference, not the scoreboard. I think I’d prefer the ERA of 0.

            As a fan it is my right to play Monday Morning QB all I want; if I don’t like a trade I can blog about it if I want. I hope I am 100% wrong about this trade and Matt Garza wins 6 Cy Youngs… I just am pessimistic about it until I see it. Mostly due to the fact that I watched Hak-Ju Lee play in person about 5 times last season and was absolutely in love with the kids game…

            Also in reference to the walks- Archer is young and has time to figure out control issues. You can’t teach velocity or a lively arm… Marmol walks a ton of guys and he is improving that each year. I’m glad we didn’t trade him because he walked guys.

  • Aaron

    …just wanted to let Tom know that Cody Hams, one of his “make or break” candidates has been released by the Cubs. Ryan Searle is now the only Australian in the system, and he’s also on the bubble

    • Tom U

      Sorry to hear that, but that’s the way the business goes some times. I just thought that a 21 year old, 6’5″ 200+ Lbs. left handed pitcher was intriguing. Imagine the possibilities!

      I hope he catches a break somewhere and develops along the lines of the Braves Peter Moylan, and doesn’t end up biting the Cubs in the behind.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to multiple reports, the Cubs optioned John Gaub and Esmailin Caridad to Triple-A Iowa Friday morning. With Gaub and Caridad optioned out of big league camp, the Cubs Spring Training roster was reduced from 60 to 58 players.

    • Richard Hood

      I can think about 5 more guys in the bullpen that need to be shipped at this point but Guab definitely needed to go down. Caridad I am not sure on yet.

      • cubtex

        I agree Richard. Give the guys who they are looking at to take North the majority of opportunities…..the Scott Maines,Shark,Marcos Mateo,Jeff Stevens etc.

  • studio179

    No suprise here. After hearing Hendry and Quade over the winter, I assumed Wells was pretty much a lock anyway. They talked competition, but you could hear it in their interviews that they REALLY thought Wells would bonce back. In other words, one spot was his to lose. Wells is holding up his end so far.