Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Demoted Wells not happy, unsure of future with Cubs

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Randy Wells isn't going to start demanding trades or getting an attitude.

In fact, he spent most of Thursday morning looking in the mirror after getting the expected word that he's headed back to AAA Iowa as part of a roster shuffle that included Ryan Dempster (quad) and Kerry Wood (shoulder) both returning from the disabled list.

But he wouldn't be human if he didn't start to wonder what his future with the Cubs looks like after his second demotion in five weeks following three seasons in the big-league rotation.

``I didn't pitch well. There's no one to really blame but yourself,'' he said. ``But it still sucks. You obviously want to pitch well and put yourself in a good position, but the numbers don't stack up. It is what it is.''

So is he starting to feel like he doesn't fit in here?

Nobody's told him they're looking to move him or anything like that, he said.

``I don't know. We'll see,'' he said. ``But I don't think it's that at all. I just think there's no room.''

Wells, who makes $2.7 million this year, is scheduled to rejoin the AAA Iowa rotation, where he pitched until coming up for two starts while Dempster was on the DL.

He walked nine in 8 2/3 innings in those two starts, both Cubs losses.

``He's got a future,'' manager Dale Sveum said. ``We can't sit here and promise anything, but right now, that's the role he's in - a swing man, coming up when we need starts.''

Wells might have been considered for a bullpen spot if there were any options there.

As it was, Scott Maine - who pitched well and was one of only two lefties in the pen - was optioned back to the minors to make room for Wood, largely because of contract and service-time situations with many of the other relievers.

``Those are unfortunate things in this game that happen,'' Sveum said, ``because he did a good job while he was here, a very good job, and it's very nice to have those two lefties in the bullpen.''

Maine had a 1.59 ERA in five appearances, with 10 strikeouts and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Meanwhile, Wood will be eased back into more ``stressful'' late-inning situations, said Sveum, who plans to use him in the sixth or seventh inning his first few appearances back.

``We'll monitor him,'' Sveum said. ``It'll be every other day, and when you get him up, you get him in the game.''

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Wells has no one to blame but himself. I liked him when he first came up and won fifteen or so games, but the last couple of years he was not even close to being the pitcher he first was. After he said being sent down after spring training games was a wake-up call, I thought he would work on his weaknesses and come back better than ever. Un fortunately he continued to pitch poorly at triple A and was no better when he was called back up. Maybe this time he will see the unhappy future awaiting him unless he shapes up and will put in the hard work he needs. Otherwise, he is destined to syay down there or go even lower. Too bad the Cubs jumped the gu and payed him so much.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on May 3, 2012 12:21 PM.

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