Role: If logic and reason combine with a healthy dose of luck and miracles, long reliever
2011 Opening Day Age: 32
Uniform Number: #37
Does this guy seem familiar to you?: Yes.
Wellemeyer came up with the Cubs in 2003 and burst onto the scene by striking out the side for a 17th inning save in his major league debut against the Brewers. In his first five appearances, he pitched 7.1 scoreless innings and struck out 13 while walking none. In his final 20.1 innings, he walked 19 and struck out 17 while his ERA ballooned up to 6.51. He pitched sporadically out of the bullpen the next two years and didn't ever get much better. But that debut was pretty awesome.
How is he still in the majors?: The Cardinals.
In 2007, the Cardinals picked up Wellemeyer off of waivers, converted him into a starter, and he was a semi-useful pitcher for them for about a year and a half. This is generally considered one more piece of evidence that the Cardinals have sold their collective souls to Satan.
Baseball-Reference.com's Most Similar Pitcher: Willie Banks
More Baseball-Reference.com's Most Similar Pitchers That Also Sucked For the Cubs at Some Point: Scott Sanders, Chad Gaudin, Jim Bullinger
Why We Might Like Him:
- He has, to the best of my knowledge, never killed a puppy.
- He will be wearing a Cubs uniform for at least a good part of Spring Training.
What Cubs Blogosphere Thinks of Him:
- The Cub Reporter - "Wellemeyer would be better than Justin Berg or Thomas Diamond in a middle relief role, I guess...."
- The Deep Dish - "Wellemeyer's contract is non-guaranteed. So that money is far from spent and may very well not be. This is likely another "Sure, why not," signing by Cubs GM Jim Hendry, who's always been fairly amicable about inviting back former players for a spring training go-round."
- Inside the Ivy - "I will never understand why people question these deals. It is no different then bringing in a non roster guy. Welly has had MLB success. If he figures it out you have a mid 90's fastball guy in your pen who has been there before. If he sucks you release him. No big deal."
- Bleed Cubbie Blue - "This is a minor league deal with a ST invite, nothing more. Remember this: Mike Quade was his manager for three years at Iowa, and Mark Riggins worked with him when he (Wellemeyer) was in the Cardinals organization and Riggins was minor league pitching coordinator. So those two are quite familiar with him."