*This post was updated on March 29
Randy Wells is starting the season at Triple-A Iowa. It’s certainly not where Randy expected to be, or where the Cubs wanted him to be.
But it’s not surprising the topsy-turvy career of the 29-year-old right-hander has come down to a minor league demotion.
Wells’ inconsistency has always made it troubling to size-up his development and potential on the mound.
Is he the pitcher who won 12-games in 2009 and finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year Award, or the pitcher who won just eight games the following year, despite five more starts, while his ERA climbed more than a run higher?
Last season was more of the same. Wells began the season injured, then lasted nine straight starts without a win, followed by a brilliant (4-0) run though August, and then slumped again throughout September.
Most notably has been Randy’s persistent troubles getting through his first inning of work. It’s a road block that’s plagued him for the better part of two seasons, and makes it incredibly difficult to imagine he’ll be any better coming out of the bullpen.
That alone would explain why it’s best to keep him a starting pitcher even at the cost of taking him off the big league roster.
It’s always appeared Wells has been close to figuring it all out. If he could just find some middle ground he could solidify himself as a reliable fifth starter in the Cubs rotation.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened, and Randy’s time to prove his worth has all but run out, thus signaling his demotion to Iowa upon the arrival of Chris Volstad and the rapid improvement of Jeff Samardzija.
I’m still completely puzzled what to make of Wells’ career, and maybe the Cubs are too?
Some how, some way, I can only hope Wells finds a consistent rhythm to his pitching while in Des Moines.
Then who knows where the guy might end the regular season—could be the Cubs rotation or the scrap heap. With Wells you just never know.