Randy "ROY" Wells?

Randy Wells continued his dominance of the Houston Astros last night. He's started three times against them this season, won two of them and has yet to give up an earned in 20.2 IP, with just one unearned run last night in the 7th. The win last night was his 10th on the season, the first Cub rookie to accomplish that since Kerry Wood in 1998. I took a look at some of the more advanced metrics too see how fluky Wells' season may have been and you know, it's not to bad. While a low 3 ERA is probably a bit much to ask for next year, his .285 BABIP isn't ridiculously out of whack, like let's say his ROY competition J.A. Happ and his .249 BABIP. Wells' FIP (Fielding Independant ERA) is 3.85 and his xFIP (a fancier version of FIP that tries to 'normalize' for expected home runs per flyball) is higher at 4.30, which is still pretty respectable for a guy that will barely make over the league minimum next season.

I think if they did vote today, J.A. Happ would likely win the Rookie of the Year vote with a better ERA in a tougher park, nicer win-loss record(thanks Cubs bullpen) and the strength of a better team. A quick look at some of the other competition.

J.A. Happ: 2.63 ERA, 10-3, 143.2 IP, 97 K, 51 BB

Tommy Hanson: 3.15 ERA, 9-3, 88.2 IP, 73 K, 32 BB

Randy Wells: 2.90 ERA, 10-7, 133.1 IP, 82 K, 35 BB

Chris Coghlan: 9 HR, 301/377/446/823 OPS in 422 PA's

Colby Rasmus:  14 HR, 259/315/427/742 OPSin 418 PA's

Andrew McCutchen: 11 HR, 288/362/495/857 in 354 PA's and 15/18 in SB's

Garrett Jones:  17 HR, 295/365/614/979 OPS in 233 PA's

(I missed McCutchen and Jones on the first pass)

Today's must-win lineup is Fukudome, Blanco (wtf?), Lee, Bradley, Fox, Fontenot, Baker, Hill and Lilly.


a brief preview of the AFL roster for Mesa Solar Sox


White Flag lineup? Lol...

The Pittsburgh kids, McClutchen and Jones want to take issue with your ROY candidate list. I agree Wells has a chance to win, he needs to nail down his last five starts.

you're right on that one, should have included them...

What ever happened to Hendry shutting him down in September?

His arm is gonna fall off!!

It sure wasn't me who said that.

Didn't mean you, the Cubs told that to Len and Bob back in August.

fwiw, Wells threw 124 innings last year, 131.1 in 2006

he's at 159.1 this year...

the Verducci Rule is something like no more than 20 innings or your at risk of injury and Wells probably has 5-6 starts still?

He is 27 though...

*breaks out a calculator*

*divides by the Fat Dude Who's Never Played constant*

*carries the 1*

DAMN YOU DUSTY!!@#!@#!!!

btw, innings are a shit way to evaluate workload.

just a guide line that Verducci came up (don't think he's fat btw) that did have a strong correlation with injuries...

I'm a bigger fan of pitch counts of course...

yeah, im just playing around.

it's the mix of pitches and how many per inning that really matters. a guy can sit in AAA and throw 7 innings of work barely using his offspeed stuff and using a slider as an out pitch with great certainty. that same guy may need to throw more arm torquing stuff in the bigs and/or take a lot more pitches to get that.

arms in progress, even if in the bigs, fall under similar stuff.

Yeah the 'He's 27 though' part is the crucial bit to me. If I recall correctly the 'injury nexus' cuts off pretty sharply at 25. There's two good reasons to let him continue to pitch. The first is that the Cubs are still nominally in contention, and the second is that it is a long season and if he wants to be a successful big leaguer he needs to know how to get through 162 games just like CC Sabathia does.

Big pitch innings late in games is the thing I would be more worried about than just innings, or even pitch counts.

definitely be worried if he was younger, although is it biological age or pitching age since he's only been a pitcher the last 6 years...

of course, I don't really care if Wells arm flies off at some point either...nothing personal, but I'll be pleasantly shocked if this isn't the best season of his future major league career.

What law of biology, physiology, or kinesiology makes sense of a hard and fast cutoff based on age?


everyone's different, especially the players on our own team that we root for and think are immune to the historical trends of the game. :)

Age 25 is the general cut-off I've seen for worrying about the load on a young pitcher's arm, I was just wondering if Wells - considering he's been pitching a lot less than other 27 yr old pitchers - may still have something to worry about. 

I don't know the answer though.

I think your question of the role of pitching age is a good one.

What I wonder about the rule is do we stop protecting after 25 because the risk of injury actually goes down (in which case we actually worry less), or do we stop protecting because it's time for them to start producing or go home (in which case we worry just as much, but the value we are risking is actually less)? So is it a risk-reward decision, or is it a kinesiological decision? You can probably tell that I suspect it has much more to do with risk-reward.

If anything, the risk of injury should go up with age, shouldn't it? The tendons and ligaments should be losing their elasticity and recovery time should be increasing.

there's no definitive answers of course, you want to build up a young arm though to pitch a certain number of innings or pitches or whatever. You shouldn't run a marathon the 2nd day you go jogging, and you shouldn't throw 200 innings if you've never thrown more than 150. Some people might hack it, most probably won't...and just because some pitcher did hack it, doesn't mean it's a good idea to try it with the next one.

I think as you get older, the pitchers are use to throwing those types of innings, so you worry a little less

The age 25 cutoff I think was something BP showed at the beginning of the decade, that pitchers after that age showed a steep decline in "catastrophic injuries". And certainly more injuries of the catastrophic nature occurred in what they called their "formative years".

You're not really going to be able to tease out cause and effect with a study like that, and obviously generalizations can never be applied to one single person with any certainty.

But for every pitcher who has long term success there is going to be some ideal time where their body tends to stop growing, and they have built muscle memory for the pitches that they can use effectively in a way that throwing those pitches isn't going to cause undue strain on the various muscles and ligaments in the arm.

For some guys that's going to be 22, for some it's 29, for most it never happens.

If Wells is not physically exhausted, then continue to let him pitch, unless mental exhaustion starts to give him bad habits, then skip a start if necessary.

Wow, those last 4 in the lineup must send shivers down the HOU pitching staff.

Unfortunately, Baker and Hill are now regulars....

Ronnie Paulino's little brother has got some pitches.

and make it 18 HR's for Garrett Jones...

Fangraphs can't even make sense of Soto's slump


I think he's not hitting the ball as hard as he did last year, which would explain a part of that lower batting average - then factor in some vagaries due to lower amount of PA's this year.

I tend to agree - not hitting the ball as hard turns some of those line drives into popcorn fly balls. And his BABIP seems to indicate his luck isn't very good when he does hit the ball on a line...

I'm sure his injuries, weight gain and lack of a solid spring training haven't helped either...

40 extra pounds of fresh flab will tend to slow a guy down.

Ironically, Jake Fox says the Cubs regard him (6'0" 200) as short, fat, and unathletic while Hendry claims Soto (6'1" 230) is in great shape, just "big-boned."

Ironically, Jake Fox says the Cubs regard him (6'0" 200) as short, fat, and unathletic while Hendry claims Soto (6'1" 230) is in great shape, just "big-boned."

Yup... because every body is exactly like, and carries weight in the same ways.

There is no way in hell Jake Fox is 6ft 200 lbs.

because it's a f'n graph...that's why.

The September Surge -- it's on!

The September Surge -- it's on!
Surgio Mitre?

I would be OK with "The September Sarge", out of respect, but never "Surgio"....

π squared...

Adam Jones suffered a bad sprain while scrambling back to first base last night. He's projected to miss two-to-three weeks, but it could be longer.

"Jones is going to be out indefinitely," manager Dave Trembley said. "I couldn't tell you when or if he'll come back.


That's really going to put a damper on their playoff chances. I wonder if they Orioles were to take a survey of their pitchers, if the Pitchers would want Pie in center and Jones in left or Jones in center and Reimold in left.

Since you mention Pie, yesterday Felix hit his 8th home run of the season in the first inning off A J Burnett (who is tanking the second half and has 17 wild pitches and 9 hit batters this season if the Orioles announcers can be believed) and it caused quite a stir because Burnett made a disgusted gesture and apparently said something unprintable as well as Pie headed to second base. The Orioles were pissed!

A J denies it and says he was chewing himself out but I went to the video and made this screen capture. He's looking at Pie, not the area where the HR landed.


fwiw -- the Yankee broadcasters said it looked like A J was saying something like, "Look at that guy, he doesn't even know he hit a home run."

I didn't see any of this but I have seen a couple of his homers live (on TV) this year, and announcers sometimes remark on how he tears around the bases. You know, act like you've been there before, that sort of thing. Maybe that's what Burnett was reacting to.

Sort of like when Pete Rose used to sprint to first on a walk. Of course, with Pie, it's all youthful exuberance.

Let me get this straight. Burnett was mad at Pie for running the bases too fast? I hope the next time he gets him for one he takes 4 minutes going around the bases, then when Burnett goes back the dugout after the inning his teammates will laugh at him and say "Reap what you sow, pussy."

video I saw on mlb.com, it looked like Pie was busting it as it was opposite field shot and certainly wasn't a no-doubter...when it went out, he slowed down around 2nd and proceeded with a somewhat normal trot.

I've seen other hr's by him recently though where he's done the super-slow trot around the bases which I could see irking some pitchers.

Right at the end of that video Pie gives Burnett a "You got something to say, M'fer?' look. He did slow down, after he realized it was out - he was also half way to second by that time. How fast is he?

Holy ballz - so you can't run too slow and you can't run too fast, or you are showing up the pitcher??? Is there an optimal and acceptable trot speed after a HR?

Burnett is a sausage - there is nothing wrong with running hard until you know it is gone. He was getting bombed pretty good that game and I'm sure a HR by Pie really frustrated him, but that reaction seemed over the top to me...

It's surprising Sorry-ano doesn't get drilled more often with all of the cadillacing he does around the bases...

Let's go Marlins, Mets and Phillies!

I just heard there are tickets available for today's game!? White Sox @ Cubs. Geez...

I'm convinced whatever they decide to do with Bradley this winter... whether they keep him or not... everyone will hate the decision.

I'll go on record - keep him, unless there's an AL team that wants to give up a really good player to replace him. Carl Crawford? Don't hold your breath. As much as Jim likes selling low, he should avoid the temptation on this one.

Not me, I'm already preparing my rants. Two of them. I'm going to bitch.

If some team is willing to take Bradley and pay 100% of his salary, I am all for it. If not, Hendry should have to sleep in his own cookie crumb filled bed.

everyone will hate the decision.
Even Bradley and whoever he sees in the mirror?


Recent comments

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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.