Shocker: Randy Wells, Casey Coleman sent to AAA

Shocker: Randy Wells, Casey Coleman sent to AAA

Carrie Muskat tweeted this just a few minutes ago...

 Randy Wells sent to Minors.

I'm still having trouble with that one sinking in.  I can only imagine what Wells is thinking.  As we said yesterday, he's had two solid years followed by an injury plagued one last season.  He did, however, finish strong and followed that up with a great spring.

The reasoning behind this is simple. It's cold, hard logic.

Wells apparently did have an option left and the Cubs used it to save a roster space, probably for players they cannot send down such as Lendy Castillo and/or Frankie De La Cruz.

Check out this excellent chart and exhaustive explanation of options and other roster management factors by AZ Phil of The Cubs Reporter.

What this means long term is that the Cubs can continue to stretch out Wells in case a pitcher gets hurt or one falters.  The Cubs do have one starting pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, who is unproven and another, Paul Maholm, who had some shoulder issues last season.  The Cubs must have felt Wells was more valuable as rotation depth than as a long reliever.

It also helps keep his trade value up as teams can acquire him and plug him in rather than lose some time stretching him out.

The same is true of Casey Coleman, who was also optioned.  Although he showed improved velocity as a reliever, it appears the Cubs value rotation depth above all else.

Filed under: Roster decisions

Tags: randy wells


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  • Whoa! Didn't see that one coming at all. Not sure I like that move, but if it means hanging on to some young guys and have the option, then I guess it makes a lil sense.

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    Hey John,

    Can you update what decisions were announced. Can't find the results even on Twitter.

  • In reply to Hal McCarty:

    Keep checking this thread and I'll keep updating, they're trickling in.

  • so 1-5, do we have an idea of what the official rotation will look like?

  • In reply to Kyle Trompeter:


    I guess. pretty solid. Tough break since Wells has been pitching well this spring

  • In reply to Kyle Trompeter:

    I like the potential in that rotation. Might as well see what we got with Shark, Volstad.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed. JS has been lights out lately, Vols pitched well too.

    I'm strangely excited for this year LOL

  • In reply to Kyle Trompeter:

    Rotation order by the way has been decided...


  • In reply to Kyle Trompeter:

    I am too. Not sure why but I like the systematic way they're doing things.

  • Joe Mather and Blake DeWitt have officially made the team.

  • Also decided today:

    Clevenger is backup over Castillo
    Edgar Martinez sent down to Iowa.

  • I just tried to count out the current bullpen candidates still on the roster, and it looks like Manny Corpas is gonna be there Opening Day if Mateo is on the DL.

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    Corpas is pitching lights out lately. Could end up being quite the bargain signing.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Pretty sure the pen looks like this:
    K Wood
    De La Cruz

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    I'd say that's an excellent guess right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Correction: Muskat's saying Rodrigo Lopez is still a candidate for long-reliever. I can't figure out who else would be a candidate, so I assume he's going to get the job. De La Cruz, Camp, Corpas, and Castillo all must still be battling for 2 spots.

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    No guarantee they take him. De La Cruz can fill the long reliever role too and he's already on the roster.

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    Well I'll be honest, I'm not really surprised. It makes sense to have depth in the rotation just in case a pitcher gets hurt. I remember Theo mentioning that you need to know who your 9th starter is going to be. Cause more times then not, that 9th starter will be pitching in the big leagues. Basically Wells is our 6th starter, Lopez-Coleman 7th-8th, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if Wells still gets around 25+ starts this season. I'm sure he understands he was barely beaten out by Jeff and Volsted during the spring. Hopefully this will drive him to perform at a higher level. I know it would motivate me a ton!

  • In reply to Danny Guerra:

    It makes sense, but I guess it's something of a departure from what we're used to. Old Cubs would have lost good players in order to protect guys they've become attached to.

  • I agree that out of 6 guys, Wells is the 6th. But I disagree that he retains his trade value. He had trade value when he was battling for a spot in a major league rotation. As a minor league starter, he has less value.

    Still hanging on to the notion that they know what they are doing

  • In reply to Rob Letterly:

    I think people know what Wells is and it doesn't really matter where he's pitching, as long as he's being stretched out and able to start on a moment's notice.

  • In reply to Rob Letterly:

    I wouldn't worry too much Rob, scouts and GMs know what Wells is by now.

  • Kinda shocked on this one & if were Wells, I would be frustrated but I look at it this way,

    1- This shows that Theo & Co. arent concerned with hurting peoples feelings. Whatever is best for the ball club, especially long term, is what is gonna happen. Having Randy Wells preparing every 5th day in Iowa & building stamina to replace a starter in Chicago when needed is what is best for this ball club.

    2- If pitcher X & Y go down in April (ala last year) the Cubs can bring up Randy Wells & a re-evaulated Rodrigo Lopez or a more experienced Casey Coleman up instead of bringing Doug Davis & Ramon Ortiz off the scrap heap.

    This is the equivalent of having Jason Campbell & Josh McCown as backups instead of Caleb Hanie & That rookie from Idaho, whats his name.

  • In reply to Cub Fan Dan:

    Agreed Dan on both counts. Well put.

  • At the end of the day can you please tell us if the Cubs are at the
    25 and 40 man roster yet

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I will. I've already started a draft but it's so whirlwind right now that I'm holding off for now.

  • More cuts:

    Sent to Iowa: Dave Sappelt and Scott Maine.

    Edgar Gonzalez, Blake Lalli, Matt Tolbert and Blake Parker were optioned to minor league camp.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    great move to send Wells and Coleman down. they are known commodities with definite ceilings. Vols and Shark have such higher ceilings than these two. let's see how they perform. we could actually have a rotation that has a #1 starter in Garza and 4 guys who could pencil in as a #3 on many rotations. in our division that's not too bad

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    Good way to look at it. They know what they have in those guys and their ceilings are as 5th starter types. May as well take a chance and see if they strike gold.

  • Feel sorry for the guy. He's proved himself over a couple years whereas Samardzija's semi-proved himself over 20 innings. (A nice whip but a 4.50 era.)

    I don't think it's a bad move though. Samardzija's shown maybe his ceiling's higher than peeps think, and for a rebuilding team that's worth exploring. I just feel bad for Wells. Though maybe he'd prefer it to being a reliever, knowing he's the first starter called up. Doubt it though.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Feel the same way. Logical side says it's the right move for the team. As Hoyer said, very rare for a team to get through a season using just 5 starters, so we'll almost certainly see Wells at some point.

  • What do you see for Travis Wood? Still young but not impressive thus far!!

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    I think he works on some things and finds his way up at some point. As Jed said, not many teams make it through season with 5 starters. He and Wells are first in line.

  • Travis Wood sent down too. Just saw that .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Thanks for the update. Not unexpected at all at this point.

  • I knew Wood went down. My question is about his future. He is still young but...

  • This day is nuts. I can't break away from my computer!

  • Well, we certainly have depth. Wells and T Wood could be a part of the rotation at some point this year. Deals could be made....hope we move Dempster please at some point.

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    I'm curious what moves they will make to clear 40 man roster space.

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    Cubs website shows 39 players on the 40 man right now.

    De La Rosa is on the 40 man, has to give him an edge over some of the guys he's competing with.

    Not on the 40 man: Rodrigo Lopez, Manny Corpas, Shawn Camp, Joe Mather, Blake Dewitt.

    We know Mather and Dewitt have made the team, and with 1 open spot, they only need to remove DFA one player to fit those two in, my guess is Tony Campana.

    But Lopez/Corpas/Camp are likely fighting for 1 spot since I doubt they send Castillo back to the Phillies or DFA De La Rosa. That means they have to DFA someone else to open a 40 man spot for whoever wins the final bullpen spot. Barring a trade of someone on the 40 man, I wonder if Marcus Mateo might go on the 60 day DL to open a spot.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Exactly the kind of stuff I'm trying to sort out right now and it has my head spinning. So many possibilities...Campana not one I've considered but anything is possible, as we've seen.

  • Well, if you put in your usual day, you only have 12 or 13 hours to go. I hope Wood can be helped at AAA and, while I would root for a guy such as Campana, I just think he doesn't bring enough to the roster.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Haha! It's going to be one of those kinds of days. Was supposed to pick up dog food. Wife (and dogs, of course) aren't going to be happy if I don't do that before dinner time. Glad the news is a little slower right now!

  • I agree with the move to the extent that Wells is not the kind of guy who has much value coming out of the pen.

    Samardzija has the potential to be a very good starter, and I guess they need to see if he can deliver on that. Volstad also has a higher ceiling than Wells.

    I like Wells, though, and think he's a bit underrated. Apart from his struggles in coming back from the injury, he would have a career ERA in the 3's, and is arguably as good or better than 4/5ths of the Cubs rotation. He doesn't have exciting stuff, but he's a good pitcher.

    As for Coleman, he's much better off continuing as a starter in AAA.

    This will all sort itself out.

    The person arguably most hurt by it all is Travis Wood, because he will be going lower and lower on the depth chart. He can remedy that, of course, by pitching well at AAA, but I wouldn't bet on that happening.

    Wells may be having a hard time dealing with this, but he seems like a pretty calm, patient guy. I'm hoping he copes with it well and makes a strong case for himself at Iowa.

  • I guarantee that unless he is traded in 2012, Randy Wells will be Chicago blue making starts for the Cubs. I fell good in preducting that I will not live to see the day when the Cubs use only 5 starters. Injuries and pitching go hand in hand these days.

    The only guy that I want to see in chicago is our next true #1 ace. I realize that some here and in other venues see Matt Garza as being that guy, but no way in hell is he capable of stepping into those shoes. As soon as we are clear of another of Hendrys ill advised signings (Dempster) the Cubs can begin in earnest to procure the next Cub ace.

  • In reply to JK1969:

    Agreed. Unless he's traded, we'll see Wells at some point in the season.

    Also agree Garza's not a true ace, more of a #2, though some of his peripherals last year were very good and suggested more. You have to take the whole of his career. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he took a step forward last season, but not to the level of an ace.

  • I feel for Wells. He's done everything the Cubs have asked him to do, maximized his production comparative to his physical abilities, and maintained a good attitude about the whole thing. I agree this was the 'right' move (assuming that placing Samardzija in the rotation is the right move; color me skeptical). Still, I'm hurting for Randy today.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I think that speaks for a lot of us, Eddie. Easy to understand why they did it, but hard not to feel bad for the guy

  • I don't know if someone already said this (just checked in on Cubbie news) but in terms of the bullpen, Wells is caught in somewhat the same bind as Welington Castillo. They do not want to waste him as a long man - the guy you hope hardly ever pitches. He is in AAA to be ready as a starter. You could not blame him if he was really mad about this, but he seems to be taking it well.

    And today Volstad has his down day. Let's hope he learns from it like Samadzija did.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Have to agree. I wouldn't have thought to use those two in an analogy, but it works. Cubs want those guys getting their regular work.

  • I have talked up both Wells and Samardzija so I guess I should say, "ha, Volstad was terrible today, he should go down." But I won't. I feel bad for Wells because I think he actually did more with his chances than either Volstad or Samardzija, both of whom had one really bad day.

    But I feel good for the Cubs because they had a hard choice to make and got to keep a guy in the minors that I really believe deserves to be in the bigs and save him for the sixth starter spot. After last year that is really good news for us fans.

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