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


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


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.


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:


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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  • AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.

  • Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...

  • Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.

  • The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha