It’s hard to believe Randy Wells has any trade value left.
He’s progressively gotten worse since his (12-10) rookie season in 2009 that started with 18.1 scoreless innings and finished with him 6th in ROY voting.
Wells has since been terribly inconsistent throughout his starts and his opportunity to prove otherwise appears spent.
A personal best 5-game winning streak through early September last year, including two complete games–one a shutout–over the final six weeks put Randy in position to compete for a rotation spot this spring.
But he dropped the ball and was essentially demoted to Triple-A Iowa to begin the season, in favor of Chris Volstad, no less.
Randy’s start with Iowa, 15 ER in 14.1 IP (9.42 ERA), further confirmed his inability to pitch effectively at the major league level.
Key injuries to Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster, however, landed Wells back with the big club in late April. He made a decent first outing in a 4-3 setback to the Reds allowing two-earned runs over five innings. Then the wheels fell off in his following start at Philadelphia: 4 ER, 3.2 IP.
The Cubs subsequently sent Wells back to Iowa. He posted a 6.18 ERA over three starts. Same old, same old.
Could Wells Be A Bullpen Arm?
By late May Wells was again recalled to Chicago, this time as a reliever. He went (1-0) with a 2.08 ERA in four relief appearances. Perhaps, the bullpen is his true calling?
The month of June has proven otherwise. Five outings, one start, (0-1) 6.48 ERA, 14 hits in 8.1 innings and nine walks vs. two strikeouts.
What’s The Issue?
Lack of pitch command appears Wells’ main hurdle to success. He’s walked an unsightly 20 batters in 25.2 innings pitched with the Cubs. Dempster and Garza, for good measure, have issued 22 walks each in roughly 55 more innings.
”The bottom line was the walks again with him.” “He’s got to throw strikes. He just can’t seem to maintain innings without walking anybody,” said Dale Sveum following Wells’ wild outing against the White Sox Wednesday night.
Wells has had ample opportunity to right the ship with Chicago, but not even a team on the rebuild, destined for 100-losses, can justify his poor performances.
Unfortunately, there are hardly better minor league options to replace Wells on the Cubs roster. And even the anticipated trades of veteran starters such as Dempster & Garza are more likely to return younger prospects than major league ready arms.
It means the Cubs are stuck with Wells, at least for the remainder of the season, unless of course, somehow, someway, Team Theo can do the unimaginable and deal the soon-to-be 30-year-old come the end of July.
I wouldn’t say I’m counting on it.