Has Wells Run Dry In Starting Rotation?

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Cubs announced before Saturday's game that they have recalled right-hander Mitch Atkins from Triple-A Iowa.

The 24-year-old Atkins was up for a cup of coffee last July and pitched two shutout innings against the Houston Astros.

In his Tribune story, Paul Sullivan reported that Atkins was being called up "to help fill a bullpen void," but I'm not so sure.

It's quite possible that Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella have run out of patience with Randy Wells who had yet another shaky first inning against the White Sox on Friday en route to losing his fifth straight decision. His last win was on April 30.

Wells, who is 3-5 with a 5.15 ERA, admitted Friday that he is struggling with his confidence and was perturbed by a rumor that originated on WSCR (670-AM) that he was out partying with members of the Blackhawks until 3 a.m. Friday. Wells denied pulling an all-nighter.

Atkins, a seventh-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2004, was 4-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 14 games with Iowa this season. He joined the I-Cubs' rotation on May 9, was 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA, and is the current Pacific Coast League Player of the Week. He was a 17-game winner in 28 starts at the Triple-A and Double-A levels in 2008.

The Cubs did not announce a corresponding roster move, but relievers James Russell and Jeff Stevens are the likely candidates for a trip to Des Moines.

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