The Chicago Cubs pitching rotation is set: Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Jeff Samardzija, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm. One notable omission is Randy Wells, who, when healthy, has been a mainstay in the Cubs rotation since 2009, but Wells was optioned to AAA Iowa on Thursday by Chicago's new front office.
In interviews with the media, new head coach Dale Sveum and new general manager Jed Hoyer were predictably positive and encouraging, noting that Wells pitched well in the spring. But they also noted that the Cubs need him to be throwing a starter's workload in AAA if (though more likely when) he needs to be recalled to the majors when a spot opens up in the Cubs rotation due to injury.
Wells was fighting with Samardzija and Volstad for the final two spots in the Cubs rotation, and the writing might have been on the wall when Wells threw only 7.1 innings in the spring compared to Samardzija's 20 and Volstad's 14.2. Wells didn't allow any earned runs in those seven innings, and though his four hits allowed was almost as impressive, he only tallied one strikeout.