Shaky Randy Wells hopes to stay on Cubs’ roster
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com April 28, 2012 11:20PM
Cubs righty Randy Wells (0-1) took the loss Saturday. He went 32/3 innings and gave up four runs, three hits and four walks. | Hunter Martin~Getty Images
Cubs at Phillies
The facts: 12:35 p.m., Ch. 9, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Matt Garza (1-1, 3.38) vs. Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 9.39).
Updated: May 30, 2012 8:36AM
PHILADELPHIA — Cubs pitcher Randy Wells had a right to be surprised or upset when he was sent to Class AAA Iowa out of spring training last month despite pitching well.
But if he doesn’t survive the looming roster moves to stay on the Cubs’ staff this time around, he knows this one’s on him.
‘‘It’s just inexcusable, really,’’ he said after bringing the roof down on himself with a sudden loss of command in the fourth inning in a 5-2 loss Saturday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
‘‘All walks in general, but the walk to the pitcher to keep the inning going is pretty brutal,’’ Wells said of the two-out, four-pitch walk to Joe Blanton that set up Jimmy Rollins’ two-run double that knocked him out of the game.
‘‘Makes me want to throw up.’’
The three-walk inning gave him nine in eight innings over two starts since getting recalled to take Ryan Dempster’s place in the rotation.
With Dempster (quad) cleared to rejoin the rotation Thursday — the same day setup man Kerry Wood (shoulder) is due back off the disabled list — Wells is in limbo, at best, as he hopes to be kept on the roster as the long man in the bullpen.
‘‘We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it on Thursday and see where we’re at,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘He’s definitely in the mix for that spot.’’
Said Wells (0-1): ‘‘I’m not going to talk about that. It’s beyond my control.’’
Clevenger to DL
The Cubs don’t expect catcher Steve Clevenger’s oblique strain to be a short-term injury. The rookie backup catcher with the 11-for-22 start that included five doubles was put on the 15-day disabled list and sent home to Chicago for treatment.
‘‘The concerning point is I’ve had run-ins with these kind of things when guys have trouble talking and coughing,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘It’s definitely more than a couple of weeks or three weeks. It’s usually a long process. I think he got it really good.’’
‘‘I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the oblique area,’’ said Clevenger, who had never been on the DL in six previous pro seasons.
‘‘I’m going to do what I’ve got to do and listen to [the medical staff]. I’m kind of disappointed, but at the same time, I’ll be back, and I’ll be ready to go when I get back.’’
Starlin Castro’s two stolen bases gave him 10 in 12 tries and a share of the National League lead. With two games left this month, he’s two shy of the Cubs’ record for April, set by Brian McRae in 1996. Castro had 22 (31 attempts) last season.
◆ Phillies first baseman Jim Thome left the game after the fourth inning because of left lower-back tightness after a walk and slide into second on a fielder’s choice in the fourth.