So, who gets bumped from the starting rotation once Wade Miller is ready?
Oh, right we did that one already. Well, provided he returns to the Red Sox before, oh, we’ll say July 10, who gets the ol’ heave-ho once Curt Schilling’s ankle is ready to make another go of it?
And in the meantime, can they bring back Cla Meredith, or anyone really, so we can avoid the menace of seeing David Wells every fifth day from here on out?
All Monday morning pitching aside, the lefty’s return to the starting rotation yesterday was a disaster, as the portly pitcher allowed seven runs to the Oakland A’s, and got just four outs before he was sent to the showers. Four outs. Good thing they demoted the vowel-deficient Meredith and not Jeremi Gonzalez, or else Tim Wakefield might have found himself muttering Wells’ surname in between F-bombs as he laced ‘em up.
In his six starts this season with Boston, Wells has been brilliant twice and downright BFI material the rest of the time. He’s allowed more runs than any other Sox starter in 20-plus fewer innings. Even more than Keith Foulke if you can believe it.
He went into yesterday 2-3 with a 4.91 ERA. But in those three losses, he allowed 16 runs in just 14 1/3 innings. Rehab start? Eh, with those Cy Young worthy numbers, who needs one? Don’t forget, he tossed those back-to-back shutouts against Tampa Bay and Baltimore. He also has a track record, remember.
So does Minnie Minoso. Hell, let’s bring him back too then. Or at least before the White Sox try again.
A curious signing when it was announced back in December, the presence of the former Yankee, Blue Jay, Red, Oriole, Padre, White Sock, and Tiger grows shoddier every start. The only New Englanders excited about the Christmas gift of Wells were the ones quickly fishing for their Yankee foam fingers out of the back of the closet, where they threw them in a fit of frustration just two months prior. The Sox got Wells? All right. Now at least we’ve got balance in Kevin Brown.
Wells should have gone for a rehab start in Pawtucket. Sure it is hindsight, but it is still what he should have done. Then again, why get shelled in Triple-A and delay your return to the rotation when you can get hammered for the big club and get to 11 faster than Spinal Tap. Wells’ deal pays him $200,000 per start from 11-20 this season, $300,000 for every one from 21-30. After 30, he gets a rainbow sticker that reads, “Shining Star.”
Of course, Wells’ excuse for not hitting McCoy is that he was out for three weeks last season (the infamous “freak barroom, I mean, household accident”) with the Padres, and in his return start shut down the Red Sox over 5 2/3 innings of work without a rehab start. Hey, that’s great. But you were the ripe age of 41 back then though. Maybe those young bones aren’t what they used to be. Besides, there are no more Celtics games to show up at while the rest of your teammates are playing on the road.
So maybe it’s an overreaction to another poor start by Wells, but the question has to be put out there: How long do the Sox send this guy out there every fifth day? For now, they have no choice. There is no Arroyo or Wakefield to the pen debate any longer with Schilling on the shelf for WEEI only knows how long. The Major League Baseball draft is still a month away, so there isn't anyone else they can rush faster than Meredith. That means more Wells, boys and girls. Matt Young has started working out vigorously we hear in hopes of a comeback.
Or is he already here?
After he did the pitching equivalent of vomiting on the mound in Oakland yesterday, Wells told reporters to “write what you want.” We assume that he meant about him and not whether “Revenge of the Sith” holds up to the dominantly favorable press. Well, we're not going to say the David Wells experiment needs to come to a merciful end. We've witnessed stretches like this before where the pitcher is all of a sudden back in a groove. We will say it is certainly time to think about this being the end of the David Wells era in Boston, one that so far fails to live up to the standards set by the likes of Gary Gaetti.
Oh, I think he has something left in the tank, as they say. But what good is it priming it out every fourth start just so you can have three stinkers in between? Do we really envision this guy pitching in Boston down the stretch in August? As a, God help us, Game 2 playoff starter?
And if Wells pitches another shutout in his next start at Toronto next week, I expect the smarmy “See?” emails to come pouring in. That's all well and good, but how long will that last? At least until this paycheck goes to 11?