Tag: Randy Wells

Chicago Cubs: Injuries Already Begin to Plague Them

By Friday the Chicago Cubs will have already been downed two starting pitchers; Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner.

Wells has a right forearm strain, while Cashner has a strain in the back of his rotator cuff. After two MRI’s, neither player showed any structural damage. Both will be put on the DL by weeks end and are expected to be sidelined nearly a month.

This is a disastrous opening scene to the 2011 Cubs performance, as starting off strong is very important to the team and fan’s morale. After the first five games, the Cubs gained their first winning record since they rounded up their 2009 campaign.

A blow this strong at the start of the season could derail Chicago’s northsiders enough as to where they will struggle to regain the opportunity to make the playoffs by season’s end.

To replace the injured pitchers, the Cubs will recall Casey Coleman from Triple-A Iowa to take over Randy Well’s position, and likely will promote current left-handed reliever James Russell to the fifth slot in the rotation.

The 23-year-old Coleman has a lifetime ERA of 4.11, while his also young teammate Russell has a 4.76 ERA in his young career, although he has not given up a run during his two innings of work in 2011.

On the bright side for Chicago, this will give the two young gunslingers an opportunity to show off their stuff. A good showing could give Coleman a chance at a consistent relieving job in the majors, possibly outdoing pitchers such as John Grabow or Jeff Samardzija.

It may be a shame for the Cubs to lose both these pitchers while hitters such as Alfonso Soriano are beginning to pull their weight, who has already gone yard three times this young season, but it is also a chance for the fans to view their young talent and future mound-dwellers.

With a few good showings, this could end up being a devastating and disastrous hidden miracle in Wrigley.

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Great Career Move: 10 Starters Mariners Should Lure to Pitching-Friendly Safeco

Pitchers in hitter-friendly ballparks or tough divisions may benefit from being traded. The same applies to struggling pitchers in search of redemption.

The Seattle Mariners would be a good destination for such pitchers. The home of the Mariners, Safeco Field, is the most pitching-friendly venue in the American League and the AL West division isn’t too frightening.

The following ten pitchers would benefit from moving to Seattle. Interested to find out who they are? Read on.

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Randy Wells Could Help Shore Up Chicago Cubs’ Bullpen in 2011

With speculation rampant that the Chicago Cubs will pursue a starting pitcher in free agency this offseason, an implicit question presents itself: who will be the odd man out? To accommodate the faceless newcomer, after all, someone will have to move from the team’s current rotation to the bullpen. Who ought that to be?

Let us begin by dismissing the notion, still prevalent in some circles, that the team will or should trade Carlos Zambrano. After a disproportionate punishment for a messy dugout brouhaha in June, Zambrano has recovered nicely and has earned his spot in next year’s rotation. Ryan Dempster, who has shown signs of wear from overuse in the second half, is nonetheless useful and will also have a secure space in next year’s rotation.

Carlos Silva, the cardiac kid of the 2010 team, has had a miserable second half. With Seattle paying nearly half of his salary for next season, however, and given management’s firm belief that Silva would wither under the strain of pitching on consecutive days, it will be rotation or bust for the big Venezuelan next season. If the Cubs feel they can send five better pitchers to the mound as starters, GM Jim Hendry will explore trading or releasing Silva.

Tom Gorzelanny, line drive magnet, has managed a 3.90 ERA this season and seems poised to attain some measure of the success promised by his breakout 2007 season with Pittsburgh—as long as he works on his reflexes this season. Gorzelanny has taken two line drives to his body this season, each driving him out of starts early.

Despite those setbacks, and ever-changing roles on the pitching staff, Gorzelanny has learned to get out both left- and right-handed batters consistently. That bodes well for him as a starting hurler next year.

That leaves Randy Wells. Wells, 28, had a tremendous rookie season in 2009, but this year has suffered a serious setback. His 6-12 record is of little concern; it’s ugly, but partially due to poor run support and bad luck. Wells’ continued struggles against left-handed hitters, though, are more troublesome.

Lefties have taken advantage of Wells’s inability to command his third pitch, a change-up, by walking more than twice as frequently as right-handed batters against the right-handed Wells. Wells’s best strikeout pitch, a slider, is also somewhat neutralized by left-handed opponents; that has resulted in a strikeout rate 20 percent lower against left-handers.

Wells is a decent ground-ball pitcher, and his stuff can be fairly nasty at times. To unlock his full potential, though, Wells might do well to accept relegation to the Chicago bullpen for 2011.

For the Cubs, moving Wells makes the most sense fiscally. If management must cut one pitcher’s workload in half, it would be nice to know that that pitcher will be relatively cheap. Wells still has one remaining season under total team control; the Cubs need not offer Wells arbitration. As a result, the team can pay Wells roughly half a million dollars to take over a crucial role as right-handed long reliever or set-up man.

If the next Cubs manager deployed Wells intelligently, the team would benefit from having its most platoon-susceptible pitcher gain the platoon advantage nearly all the time. Wells would assume the role currently held by Thomas Diamond in the 2010 bullpen; the upgrade is undeniable.

Will Wells really be re-assigned? Perhaps not. Injuries, trades, or the simple inability of Hendry to reel in the kind of talent for which he is so desperate could still press Wells into starting duty. If all goes to plan, though, Wells could become a solid contributor to the Cubs’ relief corps next year.

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Randy Wells Suffers Another Defeat, Chicago Cubs Lose 1-0 To San Diego

Randy Wells is wondering what he needs to do to win a ball game.

Chase Headley’s first-inning groundout-RBI produced the only run in the game as the Chicago Cubs lost 1-0 to the San Diego Padres Tuesday night.

Wells (5-11), who was only tagged with one run in seven innings, had his best performance in recent outings. 

In the month of August, he has conceded three runs in seven innings to the Cincinnati Reds.  He gave up six earned runs each in two different outings.  The right-hander has not won a game since July 23 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Padres starter Jon Garland (12-8) outpitched Wells by tossing seven shutout innings for the win.  He was responsible for four hits and three walks.  But after giving up Xavier Nady’s lead-off double in the fourth inning, he retired 12 batters in a row before leaving the game.    

Wells only scattered three hits—two singles and one double, but that was enough for the Padres to score their winning run in the first.

The inning started with a single by Jerry Hairston, Jr. to left field, and Miguel Tejada followed with a walk.  Wells retired Adrian Gonzalez on a fly that advanced Hairston to third base.  He hit Ryan Ludwick to load the bases.  Headley hit a ground ball toward first base to score Hairston.

It’s awfully difficult to win if a team can’t score.  

The Cubs sent 34 batters to the plate in nine innings but failed to erase a 1-0 deficit.  The Chances were there, but they stranded runners at third base three times.

With two outs and Nady at third, Koyie Hill struck out swinging to end the second inning. 

Nady led off the fourth inning with a double and moved to third on Alfonso Soriano’s groundout.  Blake DeWitt hit a shallow fly ball to left field, but Will Venable made a spectacular diving catch to erase his potential RBI-single.  Hill struck out for the second time for the third out.

In the eighth, with Kosuke Fukudome and Starlin Castro at the corners, Marlon Byrd grounded into a routine double-play to end the threat.

The Cubs’ last chance was in the bottom of the ninth.  With two out and Darwin Barney at third, DeWitt lifted a fly ball to right field that missed the basket by a foot.  Ludwick hopped and caught it against the ivied wall

Game over and Heath Bell got his 36th save of the year.

Note: Derrek Lee missed the last two Cubs’ games after removing himself from Sunday’s contest in St. Louis.  His stiff back still troubles him…Starlin Castro initiated another hitting streak Tuesday night.  He went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.  His six-game hitting streak ended on Sunday going 0-for-5.

This article is also featured on www.sportshaze.com.

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Chicago Cubs’ Randy Wells in Sophomore Slump

      ( Originally posted on IvyReport.com )

There really is no way to sugar-coat it.

Randy Wells has pitched like absolute garbage over his last eight starts and is on his way to a plainly pathetic sophomore season in the majors. The guy is the not-so-proud owner of a 5.15 ERA on the year.

As some fans know, Wells came from out of the blue to have a startling rookie campaign, which saw him post a 3.10 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Many were skeptical that he could repeat his success, because he was a 27-year-old who had been a sub-par minor league pitcher virtually his entire career

Looks like the doubters had him pegged.

In these last eight starts, Wells has posted an ugly 6.56 ERA and took the loss in five of the appearances.

As has been mentioned ad nauseum, his greatest struggles are at the beginning of games. In his first 15 pitches of his starts, opponents are crushing him to the tune of a .365 batting average and an .865 OPS.

Yikes, to say the least.

And a mighty fall from grace for sure. Some fans saw Wells as a Mark Buerhle-type who could be counted on to be a No. 2 starter in Chicago’s rotation.

And while Lou and Larry Rothschild have been working hard to help Wells find the  success he had last season, it has apparently been to no avail.

When it comes down to it, Wells looks more and more like a one-year wonder, rather than a guy you can count on to be anything more than a back-end rotation guy.

As much as I personally like him, if he continues to get blasted by major leaguers, he won’t have his rotation spot much longer.

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