We’ve known for awhile that the first three spots in the Cubs’ 2012 rotation would be taken by Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Paul Maholm. We learned last week that Jeff Samardzija is all but a lock for the rotation, leaving Randy Wells and Chris Volstad in a fight to the death for the final spot. Dale Sveum appears to have decided who’s filling that final spot.
“His name came up,” Sveum said. “But there’s nothing etched in stone there. What I said was ‘Obviously if he keeps throwing the ball the way he’s throwing the ball, he’s going to be hard to keep out of the rotation.’ It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.”
Randy Wells hasn’t allowed a run in four outings so far this spring. How does he feel about being the odd man out?
“I’m more of a ‘whatever they want me to do’ kind of guy,” Wells said. “I’d be disappointed. It has been three years in the rotation … but it could be a new challenge, something exciting. … Either way you’re going to have to make adjustments. If I do end up in the rotation, I’ll try to do better and have a better year than last year.”
Maybe it’ll be better because he can sleep off his hangovers in the bullpen.
Randy may not have to worry himself about the bullpen, as Jeff Samardzija still has two more games to pitch in Cactus League play. But even allowing 7 runs on Friday didn’t deter Dale Sveum from gushing about him.
“I think in his case he probably learned a lesson about yesterday and understanding the starting rotation when you have to face 40 batters, the soft stuff has to come into play,” Sveum said. “You can’t throw 90 percent of all your pitches 91 mph and above.”
“More than anything I think he got away from what built his confidence,” Sveum said. “He didn’t pitch inside at all. He got no ground balls, no balls put into play on broken bats. I think we were pitching into his glove side too much and it got him in trouble. I think he got away from what has really made him successful early in the spring and last half of last season.”
“I don’t think so,” Sveum said. “We’ll find that out. He has a couple more starts but the velocity, everything is there. That’s more pitch selection and understanding. It’s probably the best thing that happened to him to tell you the truth.”
I hope Sveum doesn’t say the same thing the first time Spellcheck gives up 7 runs in a regular season game.