As extensively analyzed last week, Randy Wells was probably not quite as bad last year as it initially appeared. He was a little less lucky, a little less precise, and a little bit shakier in the early innings. Beyond that, he was, at times, far more effective in 2010 than in his sterling 2009 season.

But even a statistical analysis isn’t enough to convince everybody. Heck, it’s not enough to convince Wells, himself.

“Last year I got caught up in a lot of stuff,” he said. “I maybe got too big for my britches.”

Wells went 8-14 with a 4.26 earned-run average, after a strong rookie season in which he won 12 games with a 3.05 ERA.

At the Cubs Caravan preview at Harry Caray’s restaurant, Wells said he looks at the Ricky Vaughn character in the movie “Major League II” as a fair representation of his season.

“Ricky Vaughn turned into a businessman/pretty boy,” Wells said.

For those unfamiliar with the movie, Wells was referring to Charlie Sheen’s “Wild Thing” character, a pitcher who became complacent and more concerned about endorsements and earnings potential after his one-year success in the original “Major League.”

Now Wells is fighting for a rotation spot with six or so others. He’s ready for the challenge, and confident in his abilities.

“May the best man win,” he said. “Ultimately, that’s going to be what’s best for the ballclub. If things don’t work out, there’s 29 other teams. That’s just the nature of the beast. There’s not a spot for everybody. I’m actually anxious about it. … I don’t want to pitch anyplace else but here.” Chicago Breaking Sports.

Unless the Cubs get a serious haul for him, they should not even consider dealing Wells. He’s not yet even arbitration eligible, and is nearly as effective as a guy like, say, Matt Garza. The fact that Wells sounds nervous about being traded is surprising, and kind of discouraging.

Hopefully Wells does whatever he needs to do to prove (to himself?) that he deserves a rotation spot, and then carries that into the season. It’s easy to forget that when at his best, Wells is easily the equal of any Number 3 in baseball, save perhaps those guys on the Phillies.

  • pfk

    I too hope the Cubs keep Wells because he has a good upside. That said, it is hard to overestimate the damage he does to the entire bullpen with his short outings. It does alot more than just impact that game. It can be very detrimental for a few days. If he is going to have a bad outing , OK, just at least go 4-5 innings not 2/3rds of an inning.

    • Philoe Beddoe

      I was at first skeptical of all the Randy Wells love on here comparative to Garza….but upon closer look… I think you guys are right…..I think Garza has a much higher upside..but their quality starts were the same(18)…and if you look at Wells gamelog a couple bad outings really screwed him…Garza had a couple of those as well..Steve Stone has always been very high on Wells, and he may be a bit arrogant, but I think Stoney knows his pitching…

      either way Wells should not be competing for a spot..he as earned a spot as much or more than Zambrano….and Notre Dame Jeff shouldn’t even be in the conversation…but options and salaries matter …

      • Ace

        Never doubt me, Phil.

        Just kidding. Mostly.

  • 1060Ivy

    When Garza’s off, much like Wells, he just stinks up the place.

    The major difference is that when Garza’s on, he just has nasty stuff which can make batters look silly. When Wells is on, he gets outs based on placement and some variation in speed. Wells may never truly looks dominant but can be very effective.

    Another difference – When Garza’s off, he doesn’t seem to focus and seems like he is staring off into the lights/space. When Wells is off, he seems to get angry with himself

    There’s room on the starting rotation for both players. If the Cubs hope to compete in 2011, they are going to need strong contributions from both Garza and Wells, plus a bit of luck would come in handy.

  • Philoe Beddoe

    what we should be trying to do is see if we can get Carlos (Crazy Eyes) Zambrano to waive his no trade clause and talk to Yankees or Mets…you could win games with rotation of Garza..Dempster..Wells..Gorzelany…Cashner..or other rookie..just take whatever you can get from anyone that will pay partial money on big Z and Silva…get rid of two clubhouse headaches..even if you have to eat $ much better in long run…

  • KB

    Who is Z a headache for? certainly not for the fans; he’s very entertaining, which is why most of us watch baseball.
    For JH? That’s his freaking job; deal with it, Jim…it’s the only part of the job you’re good at.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    “Z” is and will continue to be a headache for any team he plays for. No team will ever win anything of substance with him on it. He thinks only of himself. It would be in the Cubs’ best interest if they could get rid of him. For anything. Addition by subtraction.

  • jstraw

    Ace, I think you should consider leading the way, when reporting on pitchers, in not even mentioning wins and losses. If it’s a BS stat (and it is), let’s stop using it. Whatya think?

    • Philoe Beddoe

      Just read Silva’s quotes today in trib..he scoffs at the idea that he has to compete for a spot..saying he is not a “kid” and has proven he belongs in sources(not as good as Ace’s I am sure) tell me he is an even worse cancer in the clubhouse than Zambrano..
      I would argue that in most professional sports only 20%(maybe even less) of the athletes are physically better than their peers…for the remaining 80%..things like attitude, character and what they have between their ears is what sperates winners from losers…that’s why a guy who screams at his infielders when they make an error will be a loser, unless he is in that elite category, which Big Z no longer is..

      • Ace

        Yeah, I’ll be writing about that soon. Pretty unbelievable comments, really.

    • Ace

      I try never to use it. It’s the single most worthless stat in all of baseball. I can say for sure that I never, ever use it to support or criticize a pitcher’s performance.