Randy Wells hasn’t given up an earned run this Spring, and yesterday he mowed down the Indians, going four innings, giving up just one hit and one walk. Has he finally done enough to end the farce that is the requirement that he “compete” for a rotation spot?
Neither Mike Quade nor Wells will say, but most assume the answer is yes.
Quade repeatedly has said he won’t decide on the starters until after the one-day break next week, but Wells appears to be a virtual lock for one of the vacancies. Using his sinker and changeup to perfection on Thursday, he plowed through the Indians’ lineup.
There still are a few starts remaining, but Wells probably would have to fall on his face to lose the job….
He was asked on Thursday if he now had the upper hand in the rotation battle.
“I have no idea,” he said. “It’s not up to me. I learned that in (media training) today — steer away from vulnerable questions.”
Wells was referring to a Thursday morning clubhouse meeting in which an MLB consultant taught the players how to deal with the media.
Last year’s struggles forced Wells to do some deep thinking over the winter.
“A lot of times when you pitch, thinking you can’t give up a run and you give up three, it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “Your team comes back and scores four, and no one says anything. I think I panicked a little bit, and when things got bad I tried to force things.
“Instead, now I take a deep breath, (start) relaxing, evaluating the situation and making a good pitch.”
Is this a new Randy Wells?
“Yeah,” he said with a laugh.
Quade likes what he has seen out of Wells and hopes it continues.
“We’ve seen him pitch this way on occasion,” he said. “It’s not like he’s doing something to me that I haven’t seen before. … He’s doing exactly what he needs to do, and he’s done it consistently, knock on wood, so far this spring.”Chicago Tribune.
There’s no need to knock on wood, Mike, if you just say that Wells is in the rotation.
Now is the time to let Wells prepare for the season as though he’s in the big league rotation – a guy throws differently if he’s trying to do his best versus trying to get ready to do his best in a couple weeks. I’d rather Wells stop taxing himself now at the expense (such as it may be) of his regular season performance. Sure, the difference might be negligible – but to the extent he’d prefer to be working on some pitches or certain situations, he should be permitted to do so. And the only way to allow him to do so is to finally, formally, and officially name him the fourth starter.