Tag Archive | "Randy Wells"

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Wells, Clutch Hitting Help Cubs Top DBacks 4-1 – Wrigley Field 4/5/11

Posted on 05 April 2011 by Lou

Randy Wells picked up right where he left off from spring training as he pitched a gem to lead the Cubs to a 4-1 over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on Monday afternoon.  Wells got the 1st win for any Cubs starter as he tossed 6 solid innings.  After giving up a lead-off home run, Wells allowed no runs, 5 hits and 4 walks over the next 18 outs to earn the victory.  He struck out 6 on the day. He was happy with the start despite the walks – “A little sloppy… You never want to be around the belt or mid-thighs.  Try to attack the bottom of the zone and good things happen.”

The bullpen did the rest as Sean Marshall, Marcos Mateo and John Grabow each recorded an out in the 7th inning to preserve a 2-1 Cubs lead.  After a Starlin Castro error allowed the tying run to reach base in the 8th inning, Kerry Wood worked out of a bases loaded, 1-out jam to keep the DBacks off the board.  Carlos Marmol bounced back from a blown save on Sunday to pick up the save.  It was Wood’s 2nd hold off the early season and Marmol’s 2nd save of the season as each pitcher pitched in 3 consecutive games.  Marshall, Grabow, Wood and Marmol are all going to have to have above average years if the Cubs expect to make some noise in the NL Central race this season.

Timely hitting also helped the Cubs.  Alfonso Soriano hit his 2nd home run in as many days to tie the game at 1 in the 3rd inning.  Carlos Pena’s sacrifice fly in the 4th inning put the Cubs ahead for good.  And Geovany Soto and Soriano gave the Cubs some insurance runs with run scoring hits in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The Cubs are back at .500 at 2-2…

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Wells Officially Earns Spot in Rotation with Another Solid Effort – Wrigley Field West Mesa Arizona 3/26/11

Posted on 26 March 2011 by Lou

Randy Wells officially earned a spot in the starting rotation with another solid start in the Cubs 6-3 win over the Mariners.  Wells pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing just 3 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks.  He also struck out 8.  His spring ERA now sits at 2.10 and even though he didn’t earn the win, he continues to put the Cubs in great positions to win in each and every one of his starts.  That’s really all you can expect for the #4 man in your rotation.  If Wells continues these types of performances during the 2011 regular season, the Cubs could end up surprising a lot of teams this season.

Jeff Samardzija got wells out of trouble in the 6th inning and will be a fixture in the Cubs bullpen this season.

Sean Marshall also worked a scoreless inning to preserve the Cubs win.

And John Grabow got back into action with a scoreless inning.  Grabow should be ready by the time camp breaks on Thursday.

The Cubs rallied from a 3-2 deficit with a 4-run 7th inning with some great at-bats.  Tyler Colvin led off the inning with a walk.  Josh Vitters doubled him over to 3rd and Blake DeWitt had an infield single to load the bases with 1 out.  Starlin Castro came through with a clutch bases-clearing double that gave the Cubs a 5-3 lead.  Timely hitting like that will go a long for the Cubs in 2011.

The Cubs have now won 3 in a row and seem to be getting back on track just in the nick of time for real action to start this coming week.

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Randy Wells Makes STRONG Case for Rotation Spot — Wrigley Field West Mesa Arizona 3/21/11

Posted on 21 March 2011 by Lou

Randy Wells pitched 6 strong innings of 1-run ball as the Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants 3-2 in 10 innings.  With less than 2 weeks left before the start of the 2011 MLB schedule, it looks like Randy Wells has made the strongest case out of any of the potential starters for that coveted 4th spot in the starting rotation.  Wells allowed the 1st two batters to reach base, including an RBI single by former Cub Mike Fontenot to plate the 1st run of the game.  Then he proceeded to retire the next 18 batters that he faced.  Wells did not issue a walk, he struck out 7 and he continued to work at a fast pace keeping his pitches down.  When Wells has his sinker going and when he gets into a groove, he can be a very difficult pitcher to face.  And while Manager Mike Quade did not officially name Wells a starter, he made it clear that he has been very pleased with Wells’ effort this spring.

Marlon Byrd had 2 hits in the Cubs win, as did Bobby Scales.  Wellington Castillo won the game for the Cubs with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.

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Carlos Silva Watch – Could He End up With Another Team When Camp Breaks – Wrigley Field West Mesa Arizona 3/18/11

Posted on 18 March 2011 by Lou

Will Carlos Silva be on the Cubs opening day roster when camp breaks at the end of March – that is a key question.  With the quality starts by Randy Wells all spring long and the emergence of Andrew Cashner as a viable 5th starter, the Cubs could be looking to move Carlos Silva when camp breaks at the end of March.  Lucky for the Cubs, they have some suitors.  The Washington Nationals and New York Yankees both have had scouts watching all of Silva’s starts this spring.  Both teams are in need of a 5th starter to round out their rotations and the Yankees could easily absorb all or a portion of Silva’s whopping $12 million salary for the 2011 MLB schedule.  Despite 2 rough starts to open up the spring and a dugout squirmish with Aramis Ramirez after a dreadful 1st inning in which Silva surrendered 6 runs when his defense committed 3 errors, Silva has put together 2 good starts and clearly still has what it takes to pitch at the major league level.  Silva even pitched 5 innings in his last outing and is building up his arm strength.

This would be a great coup for the Cubs if they can find someone to take Silva, even they end up paying for part of his salary to get a deal done.  Silva is not in the Cubs long-term plans and by moving Silva for something (a prospect, draft pick, saving some cash), it would be much better than outright releasing the big righty.  It would also free up a spot for Cashner to open the season as the Cubs 5th starter.  And even if the Cubs have an injury problem or Wells or Cashner struggles out of the gate, they still have some other young options to fall back on with James Russell and Casey Coleman who will most likely start the 2011 campaign starting in the minor leagues.

 

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More Good Outings by Wells, Cashner Could Mean the Duo Round out the Cubs Starting Rotation – Wrigley Field Mesa Arizona 3/16/11

Posted on 16 March 2011 by Lou

Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner both made good starts on Tuesday which could mean that the duo will round out the Cubs 2011 starting rotation.

Cashner tossed 3 1/3 innings in a split squad game against the A’s, giving up just 1 ER on 2 hits and 3 walks.  He had 2 strikeouts.  Manager Mike Quade is impressed with the fact that Cashner seems confident in his ability to be effective as a starter at the major league level even though he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for the Cubs in 2010: “That will take him a long way in his development.  I think he enjoys starting.  He’s put his heart and soul into this, and I don’t think there’s something in the back that says, ‘Really, I’m a reliever.’ I think hes’ bought into this completely.”

As for Wells, he finally gave up his first runs of the spring.  He was tagged for 3 runs (2 earned) in 5 innings of a split squad loss against the Rockies.  He has now pitched 14 excellent innings this spring and hopes that he will claim a rotation spot soon.  “I have a lot to prove.  I don’t think you ca ever do enough.  If you’re on that plane to Chicago, you still haven’t done enough… We’ll just keep it rolling and hopefully stay in a nice groove, keep the confidence up and stay healthy, and hopefully everything works out.”

Let’s hope Cashner and Wells keep it up.  I would love to see the two make the starting rotation and I would love for GM Jim Hendry to find someone to take on Carlos Silva and his crazy salary.  Even if the Cubs have to eat half of it in a trade, I think it would be great for Cashner to get some excellent major league experience as a starter during this “up-in-the-air” 2011 Cubs campaign…

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Pitching Superb as Cubs Rally for 2-1 Walk-Off Win on Ron Santo Day – Wrigley Field West Mesa Arizona 3/10/11

Posted on 10 March 2011 by Lou

Although the hitting was non-existent, you have to be thrilled with the Cubs pitching in Thursday’s 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Ron Santo day.

Randy Wells started it all off with 4 scoreless innings.  Wells struck out 2 and gave up just 1 hit and 1 walk during his outing.  Wells has yet to give up a run this spring and it looks like the fact that Wells knew he had to compete for a starting spot in the rotation has brought out the best in the righty.  His 0.00 ERA is tops among Cubs starters this spring.

Kerry Wood struck out the side in his 1 inning of work.  He gave up just 1 hit and lowered his ERA to 4.50.

Andrew Cashner had his best outing of the spring and worked 4 solid innings.  He did give up the Indians lone run on a solo home run, but he struck out 3 and walked only 1 and seemed to have a ton of confidence out there.  I would love to see Cashner keep up a few more outings like this to knock Silva out of the 5th starting spot.  The Cubs really need to find some other club to take Silva off their hands before the start of the season.  Even if the Cubs have to eat half of his salary, it’s time to give a youngster a shot in the rotation.

The Cubs managed just 4 hits on the day, but they made them count.  James Adduci singled to lead off the 9th inning and eventually scored the winning run on Brett Jackson’s 2-out walk-off single.  In the 8th inning, Marquez Smith doubled and came around to score on a wild pitch and throwing error by the Indians catcher.  Guess you gotta do what you gotta do to win…

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Wells, Marshall Sharp; Wood, Cashner Not So Much – Cubs 3, Brewers 5 Wrigley Field West, Mesa Arizona 3/1/11

Posted on 01 March 2011 by Lou

Some ups and downs for the Cubs pitching in the Cubs 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday afternoon in Mesa.

Randy Wells looked very sharp in his spring training debut.  Wells worked 2 scoreless innings giving up just 2 hits and striking out 1.

Andrew Cashner, on the other hand, struggled in his 1st appearance.  Cashner is competing for a slot in the starting rotation but didn’t do too much to help his cause.  Cashner made it through 2 innings, but he gave up 2 ER on 3 hits and 1 walk.  He did not strike anybody out.

Sean Marshall picked up right where he left off in 2010.  Marshall worked a perfect 9th inning striking out 1 in the process.

Kerry Wood returned to the Cubs pitching mound but had an inauspicious inning of work.  Wood gave up 2 ER on 3 hits, but he did have 2 K’s.

Not bad, but not great.  The Cubs also committed 3 errors for the 2nd straight cactus league start.  This can’t sit well with Mike Quade, but I’m sure he’ll take it in stride this early in spring training.  If the Cubs keep making errors like this, however, look for Quade to make some noise next week…

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Carlos Silva Confident He Will Make Cubs Starting Rotation – Wrigley Field 2/15/11

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Lou

Carlos Silva is confident that he will make it as the 4th or 5th starter for the Cubs in 2011.  “Competition is always good.  If they have me compete again, that’s all I can do is compete.  I don’t have to prove or show them.  I showed them what I can do.”

Silva surprised everyone during the 2010 MLB season when he started the season 8-0 in his 1st 11 starts.  The problem was, Silva had as bad of a 2nd half as he did a good of a 1st half.  Silva won only 2 of his final 10 starts and he didn’t pitch after September 7th because of right elbow tendinitis.

Silva is healthy and is ready to show everyone that he can pitch the way he did in the 1st half of last season for a full season in 2011.  Silva is competing with Randy Wells and James Russell for the final 2 spots in the rotation.  If the Cubs go with both Silva and Wells, all 5 starters would be right-handed pitchers.  That could work against both pitchers and give the lefty Russell the upper-hand.  We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything.  If the Cubs can get Silva to pitch well in the 1st half of the season, that could elevate his trade value before the July trading deadline.  Let’s hope that is what happens so that the Cubs can shed some of his hefty salary from the 2011 payroll before the end of the season…

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Cubs Avoid Arbitration with Newly Acquired Matt Garza – 1-Year, 5.95 Million Deal — Wrigley Field 1/21/11

Posted on 21 January 2011 by Lou

The Cubs and newly acquired “ace” Matt Garza agreed upon a 1-year, $5.95 million deal this week.  That means the 2 sides won’t have to go to arbitration in February.  That is a great way to start a relationship like this.  And if Garza has a solid 2011 campaign for the Cubs and pitches at least 200 innings, look for the Cubs to try to lock up the big righty before he becomes a free agent following the 2013 MLB season.  Garza will join Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells in the starting rotation.

The Cubs acquired Garza 2 weeks ago along with 2 Tampa Bay Rays prospects.  The Cubs gave up Sam Fuld plus 4 high level prospects to land Garza.

Garza has made at least 30 starts each of the last 3 seasons.  He has also topped at least 203 innings pitched each of the last 2 seasons (he tossed 184+ innings in 2008).  His WHIP has not been higher than 1.26 in each of his last 3 seasons and he has also kept his ERA under 4.00 despite pitching in the difficult AL East with powerhouses like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.  This is all good news for the Cubs as they look to continue to rebuild and re-tool over the next 2 seasons until they can shed some payroll….

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Cubs Acquire Garza, But Give Up Prospects Galore to Make it Happen — Wrigley Field 1/7/11

Posted on 07 January 2011 by Lou

Will this move be a sort of “redemption” for GM Jim Hendry, or will it ultimately cost him his job?  Hendry and the Cubs have 2 years to figure it all out.

The Cubs and Rays have agreed upon a trade that will send ace Matt Garza from the Rays to the Cubs.  Garza has emerged as a legitimate major league pitcher and he put an exclamation point on his 2010 numbers with a no-hitter back on July 26th – the 1st in Rays’ history.  During the 2010 MLB schedule, Garza went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.  He is only 27 years old and he has never had an ERA over 4.00 — that in the power hitting AL East with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.  He has started at least 30 games each of the last 3 seasons and he does not free agency for another 3 years — that means a nice competitive salary for a top of the line starter.  He will likely earn a raise from his 2010 $3.35 million salary.

The Cubs did have to give up several top prospects, but as we know with prospects – even can’t miss ones (see Mark Prior) — you just never really know.

Starter Chris Archer was the key to this deal.  He is only 22 years old and he was the Cubs best minor league pitcher in 2010 — 15-3 record with a 2.34 ERA in 28 games at the Single-A and Double-A levels.

Outfielder Brandon Guyer was the Cubs top position player in the minor leagues in 2010.  He had a .344 batting average with 13 HR’s and 58 RBI’s for Double-A Tennessee and is only 24 years old.

Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee had a promising season at Single-A Peoria – .282 batting average with 32 stolen bases.  But let’s face it, Starlin Castro is going to be playing shortstop for the Cubs for years and years to come, so unless Castro was willing to move over to 3rd base to make room for Lee, Lee was going to have to be dealt or switch positions in order to get to the big leagues.

The Rays also got Sam Fuld who is your prototypical reserve outfielder at the major league level.  And Catcher Robinson Chirinos has had success at both the Double-A (.318 batting average, 15 HR’s and 64 RBI’s) and Triple-A (.364 batting average, 3 HR’s and 10 RBI’s) levels in 2010.

Given the salary constraints the Hendry has placed on the Cubs pocketbooks for the foreseeable future (at least 2 more seasons, and even then, the Cubs will still owe Alfonso Soriano 1 more year of salary during the 2013 MLB season), this was a nice little move for the Cubs.  As we know, anything can happen with “top prospects”.  Sure Castro, Colvin and Cashner look like major league fixtures for the foreseeable, but at least for the Cubs, that seems more like the exception to the rule to have a top prospect be successful at the major league level during the Hendry regime.  The Cubs have been better of late making good draft selections and developing those players within the minor league system, so even though they have traded away a few potentially “nice pieces” they should be able to “re-stock” those pieces if they have been doing their job the right way.

The addition of Garza gives the Cubs a nice duo at the type, assuming Carlos Zambrano has his head on straight in 2011.  Ryan Dempster is a nice #3 and if Randy Wells can bounce back from a disappointing sophomore slump, you have a nice 4-man rotation going.  Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny or Andrew Cashner would round out the 5th spot in the rotation.  Assuming Gorzelanny and Cashner are healthy and look good in the spring, that could also give the Cubs a little flexibility in moving a Silva or Zambrano (even if it means eating some of their salary) to replenish the farm system a little.  A deal with the New York Yankees who still don’t know if Andy Pettitte is going to return for 2011 or retire seems like a perfect fit for a move like that.  Only time will tell if this is the move that saves Hendry’s career…

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