Randy Wells Should Change His Number To 13

Ron CoomerContributor IMay 11, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 21:  Pitcher Randy Wells #36 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 21, 2009 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

When you look at Randy Wells' stat line, nothing really jumps out at you. He currently sports a poor 4.86 ERA, and an even worse 1.50 WHIP.

Those numbers are frightening to any Cub fan (and furthermore, any prospective fantasy owner), but there is evidence that Wells is having a better year than his rookie season, and quite simply is really, really unlucky.

For starters, Wells is striking out batters at a clip nearly two batters per nine (7.56) more than last year (5.66). He is walking less batters, and is producing ground balls even better than last year. The combination of those three factors are the most encouraging part of Wells' sophomore campaign.

So wait, what about the ERA and WHIP?

Wells has sacrificed a .309 batting average against, far and beyond the .256 league average.

The primary culprit to his high batting average is a soaring batting average on balls in play. Hits are falling in at a .383 clip, far above the .300 league norm. On top of that, his Left On Base rate is at a low 64.5 percent, again below average.

Overall, Wells is pitching pretty good, which is evidenced by his outstanding 2.60 Fielding Independent Pitching stat. He is throwing more first strikes, producing more swinging strikes, and much more swings outside of the zone, indicating his stuff has improved.

The optimistic Cub fan in me can only hope he continues to improve upon his rookie season and perhaps turn around his misfortune.