Cubs Spring Training Mega-Preview: Randy Wells

Rather than come up with something new to tell you what I expect from Randy Wells, why don't I quote myself?
"No, he's not an ace. But Randy Wells is a solid, solid pitcher, as good a bet as any in the National League to give you 180 innings of 4.00 ERA baseball." - Me!
Over the course of his career, Wells has proven himself to be an ever-so-slightly-above-average starting pitcher. That 180 mark is the number of innings he averaged in the past two seasons, and the 4.00 ERA is actually a tick higher than his career rate of 3.65. 
"But innings pitched and ERA are such pedestrian stats!" you argue. "WHAT ABOUT HIS SABERY STATS?"
Fine. I will tell them to you.
(deep breath) 

He doesn't walk that many guys (2.76 per nine innings, vs. the 2010 MLB average of 3.28), gets enough strikeouts (6.14 K/9 vs. 7.13 lg avg), and limits home runs (about .8 per 9IP, vs. lg avg of about 1) by keeping batted balls on the ground (47.6% GB rate). 
What a sentence!
And here's something that bodes well for his 2011 campaign: while his BABIP in 2009 was slightly below league average (.288 vs. .295), his 2010 rate was slightly above the league average (.311 vs. .293). So maybe if Wells gets a little luckier this year, he'll get back below the 4.00 mark on the ERA scale.
RANDOM FACT: Over the past two seasons, Randy Wells ranks 20th in total value in terms of wins above replacement as calculated by Fangraphs with 6.4 WAR, second only to Ryan Dempster among Cubs (7.3 WAR). RANDOM FACT SESSION OVER.
Wanna bet Wells pitches between 185 and 205 innings, with an ERA between 3.90 and 4.10, 57 walks (+/- 4), 145 (+/- 6) strikeouts, and 19 (+/- 2) home runs allowed? If so, let me know and I'll give you my mailing address, so you can ship me a 30-rack of Old Style at the end of the season.
Disclaimer: The Chicago Tribune probably does not condone gambling. But I am pretty sure they support the drinking of Old Style. Just guessing on that one.

Filed under: Randy Wells

Tags: 2011, chicago cubs, cubs, Randy Wells


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  • Good day for Wells today, rough one for Cashner. And Josh Vitters drew a walk!!!!!

  • I heard Vitters stood at the plate confused for a minute... probably waiting for the next pitch.

  • Wells is a very solid 4th starter. He is consistent and eats innings. He is definitely no all-star, but he's a perfect fit for what he is.

  • Wells looks to be in solid form, throwing his whole mix of pitches for strikes. Cash seemed to be having control issues yesterday, but just because his stuff is so great he managed to get out of trouble a couple times. I hope his control improves in his next start, and we can keep projecting him as the starter over Silva.

    Worst-case-yet-not-completely-unlikely scenario: Silva and Cash both suck. Then what? (Probably Cash to AAA, Silva to MLB, until Cash finds his bearings.)

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