Post updated June 30 to include Paul Maholm’s walk issued against opposing pitcher Bud Norris yesterday afternoon. Ahh!
I’ve had it watching the Cubs staff walk the opposing pitchers.
It happened three times during the Mets series: once by Randy Wells on Tuesday and twice by Jeff Samardzija on Wednesday. Paul Maholm joined the party Friday afternoon against Houston walking opposing pitcher Bud Norris.
The Cubs have walked an opposing pitcher nine times this season. NINE TIMES!
That’s the second worst mark in the majors only behind the Braves, who’ve issued 10 free passes to opposing pitchers.
Atlanta, however, actually has a run-scoring offense and a record 5-games above .500. In theory, they can overcome such a bone-headed mistake.
But when you’re the Cubs, where run support appears a foreign language to the lineup, walking an opposing pitcher is intolerable.
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.
Wishing for a revamping of the Cubs pitching staff is not wrong at all. The troubling part, however, is the organization is void of better options for the time being.
As of this posting the Cubs team ERA of 4.21 ranks 22/30 in the majors. The starting staff’s ERA is 4.20 and ranks 20th in the majors. The Cubs bullpen ERA is a tick higher at 4.23, ranking 22nd in MLB.
Any way you shape it, that’s not very good. But to be fair, the Cubs starting rotation doesn’t deserve much blame for the team’s (8-15) start to the season.
Matt Garza & Ryan Dempster have been simply terrific. Jeff Samardzija is holding his own and Paul Maholm has come on strong winning his last two starts.
But that’s where the good ends and the bad begins.
*This post was updated on March 29
Randy Wells is starting the season at Triple-A Iowa. It’s certainly not where Randy expected to be, or where the Cubs wanted him to be.
But it’s not surprising the topsy-turvy career of the 29-year-old right-hander has come down to a minor league demotion.
Wells’ inconsistency has always made it troubling to size-up his development and potential on the mound.
Victory aside, it must have been a frustrating night for Randy Wells and Matt Garza.
Both tough-luck starters watched from the bench as the Cubs’ offense torched the Reds for 12 runs on 16 hits.
The 12 runs scored Monday night ties the Cubs’ season-high set against the Brewers on June 16 and provided more than enough offense for Rodrigo Lopez (5-6) to pick up the win despite allowing five earned runs and four longballs through 5.1 innings–Not exactly your quality start.
That’s clearly unfair from a pitcher’s standpoint considering Wells and Garza both tossed seven strong innings on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, but ended up with a combined five runs of support and two no-decisions.
Randy Wells (7-4) didn’t get the win to show for it, but his outing Saturday vs. the Mets was one of his best of the season.
That’s saying something considering Wells had won five straight starts and six of seven overall.
In fact, Wells has been so dominate of late that he’s issued just four earned runs over his last 28.2 innings, including Saturday’s two-run effort, good for an ERA around 1.00 over that stretch.
That’s a far cry from the pitcher Wells was early in the season, who at one point struggled through nine straight starts without a single victory.
So why the turn-a-round?
If there’s any team scuffling as bad as the Cubs are offensively, it’s the Giants.
Since August 4 the Giants are averaging an MLB-worst 2.6 runs per game, undercutting its dominate starting pitching and dropping them 4.0 games back of Arizona in the West.
The Cubs, meanwhile, are right on par with San Fran averaging 2.5 runs per game over its last eight contests, seven of which have been losses.
However, it’s reasonable to believe the Cubs have a shot at taking this series, if for no other reason than the Giants being as bad, if not worse, than Chicago when it comes to hitting in the clutch.
If Randy Wells could find the middle ground between where he’s been most of the season and where he was Wednesday night, the Cubs would have a very good fifth starter for 2012.
How much longer before Randy Wells is DFA?
The soon to be 29-year-old has made 10 starts this season with little to no success.
He’s become infamous for his first inning struggles, which continued Sunday, allowing three runs, two via the long ball, putting the Cubs in another early 0-3 hole.
Right and left handed hitters are batting well over .300 against him. He’s served up 10 home runs, five of those coming in his last five starts, and he’s yet to pitch seven or more innings.
Where’s the kid who started his Cubs career with 18.1 scoreless innings, finished sixth in Rookie of the Year voting while showing promise of a 15-game winner?
Through 69 career starts Wells is (21-27) and has steadily declined in his development.
He’s no where near a third or fourth starter in a big league rotation, and barely a fifth starter–even for the pitiful Cubs.
Maybe it’s time to try Wells’ hand out of the bullpen, or simply hand him a ticket back to the minors?
But running this guy out there every fifth day isn’t working…not for Wells or the Cubs.
The Cubs have scored 53 first inning runs this year, its best mark of any frame. But that production pales in comparison to the 77 runs the Cubs have allowed in the first inning, thanks in large part to Randy Wells’ continuous struggles to get out of the gate unharmed.
Marlins reliever, Edward Mujica, was caught napping in the bullpen by WGN TV on Saturday. Maybe there’s something to it?
Mujica improved to (8-2) on Sunday as part of a Marlins relief effort that stymied 14 Cubs hitter in-a-row.
Over his last 22 games:
-Batting .373, 11 HR, 23 RBI.
-Has five doubles.
-Scored 22 runs.
-Posted a 1.230 OPS, second in MLB to Jose Bautista.
He’s playing like a man desperate to join a contender!
Sunday’s NL Central
-Brewers, Bucs & Reds win.
-Cards, Cubs & Astros lose.
Mil – x
Pit – 0.5
StL – 0.5
Cin – 3.5
MLB receives records of Colon’s procedure
-The exploratory treatment involved taking fat and bone-marrow stem cells from Colon, then injecting them into the elbow and shoulder to repair ligament damage and a torn rotator cuff.
The doctors have used human-growth hormone in similar procedures but said that HGH was not involved in this case.
The 38-year-old, who started Thursday’s game against the Blue Jays, was 6-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 15 games (12 starts) this season entering the outing.
What on earth has happened to Randy Wells?
Since beginning the season 3-0 in April, Wells is just 2-5 in his last 10 starts, including a current five-game skid.
Opponents have adjusted to the sinker-baller, and Wells hasn’t managed to find an answer. That’s not out of the norm for a sophomore hurler, but Randy’s confidence is clearly shaken…maybe to the point the Cubs should consider skipping him a turn in the rotation.
Is the lack of run support–he gets about two per game–making him press? Maybe he’s battling an unknown injury? Who really knows?
But when a guy of Randy’s talent can’t get out of the first inning, you know something is up…perhaps, something other than pitching is making Wells try too hard?
I had this guy pegged for at least 12-wins this season, but even double-digits seems unlikely at this point. Of course, it’s just one of many frustrating problems with the Cubs…Randy Wells just happens to be the latest.