Well, Well, Wells...What Have We Here?

What are we to make of Randy Wells' rehab start this afternoon at a very blustery Principal Park in Des Moines? He was flashing mixed signals.


The booming home run he gave up in the top of the first on which Iowa cf Lou Montanez did not budge was understandable. The batter who struck it was hitting .377 and the wind was blowing out so briskly that the flag pole the ball flew beyond was wobbling visibly.


Wells was workmanlike in the first two frames, requiring 15 pitches in each of them. In the 3rd he seemed to find a groove when he threw only six pitches, all of them strikes. The middle batter in that inning fanned on three pitches. On his way to the dugout to lead off the bottom of the 3rd Wells stopped to chat with the plate ump. There hadn't been any debate about the strike zone; indeed, Wells was clearly in a good mood and smiling. He was still grinning when he trotted back after grounding out. Then he came out for the 4th and proceeded to throw almost as many pitches [32] as he'd thrown prior to that point [36]. He failed to retire any of the first five hitters and only escaped even deeper wounds when the opposing pitcher graciously drilled a dp grounder on the first pitch thrown to him with the bases loaded and still nobody out.


All 68 of Wells' pitches clocked between 80-88, despite that he was quoted in the local gazette this morning to the effect that he was planning to "amp it up" this time out, whatever that meant.


So it's unclear what exactly was accomplished today. The arm wasn't even stretched out much if the plan is to bring Wells back next time through the rotation. I did not see any Chicago brass in the section where they usually sit when in town, so whatever call they make on Wells after this outing will probably be based on debriefings of manager Bill Dancy, pitching coach Mike Mason and Wells himself.


As for the other 2010 Chicago Cub in the lineup, Tyler Colvin finished a wind-blown homer shy of the cycle. I missed his ninth inning triple off a rightie, but saw his first four at-bats, all of which came against a pair of lefties.


In the 1st he fanned on three pitches. In the 3rd he grounded the first pitch through the hole in the right side with Montanez on base. In the 5th he popped to cf on the third pitch after a swinging strike on #1 and taking #2 for a ball. So at that point he had seen seven pitches in three ab's. In the 7th he blooped a soft-serve double the other way on a full count; pitch #7. Hopefully his over-anxiousness has started to subside. My other observation about him was that he didn't look very big in the upper body and shoulders. Didn't he report to camp looking like Charles Atlas in 2010? Now he looks like somebody let the air out of him, although he ran well on his double, when going first to third on a single and, presumably, on the triple that I missed.


Side note: This was the 12th time already that the I-Cubs' pitchers have surrendered in the double digits. Last year that happened 12 times all year. And it's not even hot yet in many of the Pacific Clout League branch cities

Comments

it's a shame that many people that go to other cubs sites don't realize the minor league coverage TCR provides that doesn't solely rely on looking at a stat sheet or reading the local papers online.

good stuff. thanks.

Hear! Hear!

If you're interested in FIRST HAND reports on Cubs prospects, TCR is a must stop!

Indeed, much appreciated! It's also surprising that more Cubs fans haven't ended up here for the extensive minor-league coverage, given that the poor state of the current big league club means our main source of hope stems from the ongoing performance of the rest of the Cubs' organization.

Nobody who comments here, that I know of, goes to Tennessee, Daytona or Peoria games.

Because of this, all the reports from Iowa and Arizona are worthless. Thanks for your contribution

lol

I devour everything that AZ Phil and Mike Wellman write, and I salute them frequently. Every prospect goes through Mesa at some point, and all hands are there in March. Sometimes a real prospect can be found at Iowa amid the lifers and the hangers-on. But "extensive minor-league coverage," with no eyes in Peoria, Daytona or Knoxville--I just don't know what that means. If there are people in those towns and at those games who read TCR but don't come forward and speak up, I wish they would.

But you sure know how to evaluate prospects by looking at box scores!

Where or where did that 25 pounds of "Camp Colvin" muscle go?

Now he looks like somebody let the air out of him, although he ran well on his double, when going first to third on a single and, presumably, on the triple that I missed.

Perhaps being impaled by a bat toward the end of the season had something to do with that. I think the media capitalized on the term "impaled," but I'm sure that he had to recover for a while in the offseason and lost some workout time. Just a guess - I have no evidence/resources

doesn't seem like he has any less power this year

Thanks for the coverage Mike.

As always, great job, Mike.

Tornado warnings all over the place in Northern Illinois tonight. Glad the game is not at Wrigley, the radar looks awful.

FYI... everyone can WATCH the game on ESPN3.com tonite.

My computer must have a nasty virus.

It says the Cubs' bazillion dolalr cleanup hitter has ONE home run, and their gazillion dollar starting right fielder has THREE RBI. On May 22! Darn those silly computer hackers -- what a bunch of loons!

j.baker, strained left groin, day to day.

If your speciality as a right-hander is hitting left handed pitching, you are not that special

Right or left, you may want to note that overall he is the team's best hitter: 376 .391 .494

7/16 and .438 avg w/RISP as of 5/17

So far this year he is special and it is a loss.

Byrd hopes to play again this season.

http://twitter.com/jonmorosi/status/725038619...

Brett Jackson time!!!! (hopefully)

of course more likely Reed Johnson time (sigh)

Brett Jackson, despite Hendry saying he wouldn't need a week to recover, hasn't played since he mashed his pinkie. (May 11?)

not good

I hear they spotted Brett Jackson doing the towel drill.

"Brett Jackson time!!!!"

Unfortunately, Jackson hasn't played since the first inning on May 11th, so he'll have to wait for the next window of opportunity.

Interesting that Tennessee has been on a roll since Jackson went down. It may have something to do with Ha filling in ably at leadoff.

That winning streak is definitely because they lost a 938 OPS player. I don't think there's any other possible explanation

I'm aware of his injury. But if byrd's hoping to play sometime this season, then Jackson has plenty of time to get himself healthy and ready.

Muskat tweeted that Marlon was on the team plane headed home and that he said he could see.

his sinuses are probably intact, then.

It looked painful and horrific.

The only saving grace is that it looked like it got the edge of the helmet before it hit his eye.

He seems like a pretty tough guy, based on the way he usually shrugs off HBP's. He was obviously in a lot of pain. If his eye is alright, I bet he gets over the mental aspect of it fairly quickly.

Idiotic, greedy Mets owner rips his players in a new interview:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sns-tsn-aan-rud...

Calls out Reyes for thinking he's going to get Carl Crawford money. Insults Beltran, Wright, and the rest of the team.

The only team that's run worse than our Cubs?

Bash the player publically right before you try to trade him? Seems like Hendry's MO.

David Wright needs to demand a trade, hopefully to the cubs. See how much of a non- superstar he is not hitting in that ballpark.

Woah brutal. This strikes me as a last-ditch fight or flight response. Clearly the guy must know how to conduct himself in a professional manner or he would have never risen to the position he is in now.

He just seems desperate and about to get fired to me.

I mean you can't really blame the players for putting together a crappy team.

...yeah. So this Mets situation seems oddly relevant.

When Wilpon criticizes the Beltran contract, the writer of the article says Wilpon was referring to himself as the schmuck who signed him. My first thought when reading it was he was taking a shot at Omar Minaya, not criticizing himself.

He just seems desperate and about to get fired to me.

He's going to fire himself? He owns the team...

Oh, what an asshole. I thought he was the GM. My bad.

"This was the 12th time already that the I-Cubs' pitchers have surrendered in the double digits."

Iowa broke that streak of three days in a row that all four minors teams won. The others all won yesterday.

When I look at box scores of high-scoring games by Iowa's opponents, these are the usual suspects in the pitching box:

Diamond, 36.2 innings of 9.57 ERA
Mathes, 35.2 innings of 9.08
Jackson, 28.1 innings of 7.94
Caridad, 26 innings of 8.31

Diamond and Caridad, that's enough already.

I have about as much desire to see Jackson in the Cub bullpen as I have to see J.R. Mathes.

I'd say that Mathes and Diamond are probable release candidates.

They've pitched poorly. If you check out their numbers at firstinning.com (internet ate my post and too lazy to redo it), though, it looks like a bad defense isn't helping any of them out. The lowest BABIP in the bunch was .330.

My thinking is that neither guy is a prospect at this point. I'd just assume Robert Whitenack and Trey McNutt take their turns in the AAA rotation the rest of the year? Especially if the plan is to give them MLB opportunity in the next 4-14 months?

I sort of like Diamond - I'd probably keep him over Caridad if I had to choose. Mathes is just a organizational filler guy, he shouldn't ever block anyone.

I'd like to see someone in the minors this year get more than one look at Whitesnake before he gets promoted. It would probably be good to let McNutt finish a full "year" at AA before promoting him as well, it's not like he's dominating at the moment.

colvin completed his cycle last night & the pitchers went double d's for the 13th time...

Recent comments

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  • Good work!

    John Beasley 58 min 32 sec ago view
  • crunch 7 hours 35 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 7 hours 36 min ago view
  • oh, another a.russell HR...whatever.

    crunch 7 hours 50 min ago view
  • Dylan Cease throwing gas tonight for the Emeralds. In first three innings, has hit 100 mph six times, averaging 98 mph

    Eric S 8 hours 9 min ago view
  • Can I get a gif of Joe West's jowls waving as he chews gum?

    /Asking for a friend

    jacos 8 hours 33 min ago view
  • my gawd...that castillo-to-bryant pickoff was a thing of beauty. the knock on him in the minors being slow out of the crouch is looking less like a thing.

    crunch 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • bless your heart. *pinches cheeks*

    crunch 13 hours 41 min ago view
  • real shame I missed this week's episode of The Crunch Reporter.

    It's highly unusual.

    It does matter a little.

    It matters much less than you think.

     

     

    Rob G. 13 hours 44 min ago view
  • four winds field is awesome. it's crazy how minor league parks have "grown up" since the 80s/90s and that park was one of the late-80s models that showed a low-capacity ballpark could look like you're at something other than a highschool baseball game.

    crunch 14 hours 49 min ago view
  • On another topic....I returned to South Bend last night for the 2nd time this season (still haven't tried either the deep-fried mac & cheese sandwich nor "The Porknado", as the drive home is over an hour and that could get ugly), and was pleasantly surprised to find D. Underwood pitching in a rehab start. He looked good -- although, to be fair, these are low-A hitters -- fastball consistently at 94-95 (if the SB scoreboard is to be believed -- several pitches were clocked in the 30s...) and with good location.

    billybucks 15 hours 58 min ago view
  • he gains nothing, no advantage, no saving of resources, nothing...there is not a cost/benefit tradeoff...him letting the running game go on around him for others to control isn't gaining him an advantage elsewhere. it's putting him at a disadvantage even if it's not cashed in with a run.

    crunch 18 hours 38 min ago view
  • And out of respect for the rest of TCR, I'm done on this. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the other camp, but time to let it go. (Until the next Lester start. I kid.)

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 18 hours 41 min ago view
  • He is putting himself at a disadvanage. But how much of one relative to the rest of his game? He's not Justin Germano -- he's inarguably one of the best SPs in baseball, issue or not. It would be more of thing to discuss ad nauseum if it constantly caused him to give up runs and lose games. But it doesn't.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 18 hours 51 min ago view
  • shouting down my points about lester with "well, it didn't hurt" is like saying it doesn't matter if a guy starts out walking 3 guys every inning as long it's followed by a K and a double play.

    it's like elevating ERA and wins to a high level while ignoring what it took to get there.

    crunch 18 hours 57 min ago view
  • I'm asking how much it has hurt Lester and the Cubs this year. Do you have that answer?

    I legitimately don't recall you answering that quesion, apart from the condescending silliness you just posted. So if you did answer specifically about the impact of Lester's issue, I'd like to re-read it. Thanks.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 19 hours 10 min ago view