6/16 Wells' season starts Thursday
As far as Randy Wells is concerned, his season begins on Thursday. The right-hander will start in the Cubs series finale against the Athletics, riding a five-game losing streak. He’s wiped that out. That’s all in the past, Wells said.
“I’ve declared tomorrow as the start of a new season for me,” Wells said Wednesday. “Right now, I’m 0-0 in my mind. I’m excited.”
He has struggled in the first inning of three of his starts and pitching coach Larry Rothschild has made some changes in Wells’ mechanics. When he takes the mound Thursday, Wells said he’ll be more compact and more closed in his delivery.
This season has been a wake-up call for the right-hander, who was 12-10 with a 3.05 ERA in his first full season in the big leagues last year. He’s now 3-5 with a 5.15 ERA but says it’s not a sophomore jinx.
“I don’t believe in that,” he said. “I’m sitting at 3-5 with a bad ERA, but a good month here and I’m there. Roy Halladay’s 8-5 right now. Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd — people are struggling. I feel I can get back on track and just a little encouragement here and something as easy as that book to reassure your thoughts I think will be beneficial.”
The book is “The Mental ABC’s of Pitching,” by H.A. Dorfman. Rothschild is an advocate of Dorfman’s principles.
“A lot of the stuff, you read and it’s what Larry says,” Wells said. “When you hear it from Larry, you think he’s trying to calm you down or get you going. When you read the meaning behind it and what other guys have done, it’s really inspiring.”
Wells also called Greg Maddux, now an assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. Maddux offered words of encouragement on how to handle adversity.
“He’s a great resource,” Wells said.
— Carrie Muskat