CINCINNATI Randy Wells packed his bag for Des Moines on Thursday morning. Even if he sensed a demotion to Triple-A Iowa was coming, it didnt make it any easier.
Im not happy, Wells said. I didnt pitch well, so theres nobody really to blame but yourself. It still sucks. You obviously want to pitch well and put yourself in a good position, but the numbers just dont stack up. It is what it is.
The Cubs made a series of roster moves before Thursdays game against the Cincinnati Reds. Wells again lost the numbers game when Ryan Dempster came off the disabled list, becoming the sixth starter in a five-man rotation.
The Cubs also activated Kerry Wood and optioned left-hander Scott Maine to Iowa. They didnt seem interested in moving Wells whos making 2.705 million this year to the bullpen.
Hes got a future, manager Dale Sveum said. We cant sit here and promise anything. Right now, thats the role he has as a swingman coming up when we need starts.
So the Cubs will have insurance in case another starter goes down. Their bullpen remains a work in progress.
The coaching staff will have to be careful with Wood, whose right shoulder has been bothering him periodically since the beginning of spring training, and isnt ready for back-to-back games yet.
Well monitor him, Sveum said. It will be every other day and when you get him up, you get him in the game. Early on here, well probably use him in less-stressful situations. Its a sixth-, seventh-inning thing right now.
The Cubs will continue to carry Lendy Castillo, a Rule 5 pick who hasnt pitched in a game since April 20. Michael Bowden is out of options and can pitch multiple innings. James Russell is the only lefty in the bullpen.
Maine didnt do anything wrong he allowed one run in 5 23 innings and notched 10 strikeouts but still wound up losing another numbers game.
Its unclear whether the Cubs would have really changed their plans, but Wells didnt help his cause in two spot starts. The Cubs lost both games and combined Wells gave up six runs on nine hits and nine walks in 8.2 innings.
Wells who reported to spring training with a 27-30 career record and a 4.01 ERA in the majors has shown that he can be a decent piece at the back end of a rotation. Virtually every team could use more pitching. He was asked if he feels like he still fits in here.
I dont think its that at all, he said. I just think theres no room.
Wells didnt make any excuses, and isnt the type to make waves and demand a trade. He blamed himself.
Im not pitching well, he said, so maybe that has something to do with it.