2010 Player Preview: Randy Wells
Although 2009 was hardly the year we'd hoped for, there were a few pleasant surprises. First among them was the breakout season of one Randy David Wells, a late-blooming starter who was almost lost to the Blue Jays in the Rule 5 during the 2008 season.
Wells made 1 appearance in Toronto before being sent back to the Cubs, and in '09 he was promoted out of necessity. Turns out it was the right move to make, as he'd begin his '09 campaign with an inexplicable 0-3 record through 7 starts (including 4 in which he pitched into the 7th inning) and an ERA in the high 1's to mid 2's. Were it me, I would have probably been giving first-hand, one-on-one, beat-downesque examples of how to use a bat to my offense after every failure to provide support. But not Wells.
In an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Goat Riders, Wells said "You know, I wasn't frustrated at all. It was one of those situations where you just couldnt explain it. Guys would tell me, 'Hey, we are gonna get this one for you today,' or, 'we got you today,' and the whole team was pulling for me which I thought this is cool. I was just having fun. I mean I spent a whole lot of years in AAA on the cuff so to be up there pitching well was all I was trying to do, (and) you can't control the unknown
inner demons of the game of baseball sometimes. That's just the way things shake out, plus to get my win on Fathers Day made the wait even more special."
In 2010, fans and GROTA alike are hoping that Wells will build on the success he eventually found last year. After netting his first win, he'd go 8-1 in his next 9 decisions, and he finished the year with a 12-10 record and an ERA of 3.05 -- the best rookie pitching performance the Cubs have seen since Kerry Wood way back in 1998. Wells also expects to build on last year's successes.
In the EXCLUSIVE! INTERVIEW!! with Goat Riders, Wells said, "My personal goals for this year are to just be better than last year in every category. Go back, watch tape, and talk to Larry, Geo and Koyie (in order to) figure out why I was successful and why I wasn't. I want to eliminate the mistakes I can eliminate, and exploit the things I did good, and stay focused for an entire season and stay strong and healthy and win ball games. If I can do that, I should be in good shape and the team will win because Z and Demp and everyone in camp is getting after it and ready to win."
Certainly Wells will face sophomore obstacles. But he will at least have had a full season to prepare for the endurance of a 162 game schedule. Last year by September it seemed as though he was running on fumes on the mount, although he remained successful until the last game he played. Wells may even perform at a higher level as he learned recently that he was suffering from blurry vision, resulting in a need to wear glasses while on the mound. The press ribbed him about this, joking that he was the "Wild Thing." But don't look for Wells to act the part, as he says he will not be wearing black framed,silver-skull glasses any time soon.
In his EXCLUSIVE!!! GROTA!!!! INTERVIEW!!!!! ASDFJKL!!, Wells said, "If it wouldn't be such a knock, and rip off of one of the best movies of all time I would wear them and get the Wild Thing haircut too, but it would also be too much of a distraction. The media would be in my locker all the time and the Wrigley clubhouse is small, and it would be a mess. Plus, that's not my personality. I don't like to bring a lot of attention to myself so I'll just stick with the Oakleys."
We appreciate his candor, his willingness to respond, and we hope that he will provide the team with a reliable arm from a spot in the rotation in 2010. We also challenge Wells to the following: if at any point he wins 10 decisions in a row, he must either wear the Wild Thing glasses OR grow a foo-man-choo mustache and a mullet.
Regardless, though, we will obviously be pulling for him and hoping for the best.