PHILADELPHIA Randy Wells has no idea whats going to happen next. A return trip to Des Moines? A spot in the bullpen? The Cubs arent saying.
Well make those decisions when they all come up, manager Dale Sveum said Friday. Well see what happens, but we havent got to that step yet.
Wells will get the ball on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park for a showcase start against the Philadelphia Phillies. Thats about the only guarantee, with Ryan Dempster (strained right quad) back running and throwing and expected to be taken off the disabled list next week.
That will again leave the Cubs with six starters for five spots.
Wells was blindsided in late March, when he found out he was being optioned to Triple-A Iowa. But he didn't lash out and handled the news as well as he could have, sitting in front of his locker, calmly and patiently answering all the questions.
Obviously, you got thoughts in your head about where youre at and what youve done, Wells said. Im not going to sit here and defend my years in the big leagues. But I think if you look internally at the numbers, theyre not quite as bad as everybody made it out to seem. But thats not for me to make the judgments.
All I can do is pitch and show up every day and work hard and if my names here, then thats it. I know thats such a clich. But its really how I feel.
If I start getting into trying like I said in spring training to play GM or whatever, thats just going to take away from me as a baseball player. So either way, whatever happens, Im cool with it. But, obviously, you want to be in the big leagues.
Wells entered this season with a 27-30 career record and a 4.01 ERA in the majors. He didnt blast the organization, which essentially made him a 2.705 million insurance policy for the rotation.
When the Washington Nationals demoted John Lannan just before Opening Day, the left-hander with a 5 million salary requested a trade and e-mailed the beat writers to let them know.
Its not my style to ruffle any feathers or cause a scene, Wells said. They thought thats the best for the team and thats the kind of player I am. Ill do whatever to help the team.
If Wells tries to lean on clichs, its probably because he was so hard on himself after bad starts, ripping his own performance in the interview room.
That might have warped perception, along with people unfairly questioning his work habits and blowing his nightlife activities out of proportion.
Theres a lot of things (where) people get the wrong impression of me, Wells said. All you can do is pitch good and everybody forgets about it.
The Cubs saw higher potential upside in Jeff Samardzija and Chris Volstad, and Paul Maholm got the free-agent contract and gives the rotation a left-handed look. Right now, the bullpen doesnt have much depth or a real long man.
Hopefully, I can have a good start (Saturday) and maybe change some plans, Wells said. I definitely want to stay in any capacity. If it is a bullpen role, then youre just going to have to take that as a new challenge and Ive done it (before in the minors).
Its nothing that Im not used to. I can do it and Id certainly be willing to do it. Who knows, maybe at this point in your career, if thats something Im good at, maybe itll give me new life.
Im not thinking about that. Im thinking about starting. I definitely want to stay a starter. But you also want to do whatever you can do to help the team win.
Wells went five innings the last time out, giving up two runs on six hits and five walks and getting a no-decision in a 4-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Hell have to be better than that to force the issue.
Back in 2002, the Cubs drafted Wells in the 38th round as a catcher, and its been a long trip. Hes not looking for an easy out or a change of scenery.
Ive been here my whole career, Wells said. I grew up in this organization, from 19 years old to almost 30. That means a lot to me to stay here and definitely be a part of when we turn this thing around and win.