MESA, Ariz. - Last week, Randy Wells pitched before a Cactus-League-record crowd in a televised game against the White Sox.
On Wednesday, things were much quieter, but Wells left the field pleased.
Pitching before a few dozen fans at the Cubs' Fitch Park facility, Wells worked 6 shutout innings for Class AAA Iowa, giving up 3 hits and no walks while walking nobody and striking out seven. Wells went to the minor-league camp just to stay on his regular day.
"It was nice," he said. "It was a nice way for me to get some work in. I had no pressure, just work on stuff. Not that the hitters weren't good, but just to be able to get work in and work on pitches I've been struggling with.
"I think I got some really good work out of it today. I had a really good changeup and slider going and sinker. That's what the point of today was. Really sharp. I was really pleased with the changeup."
Wells threw to catcher Welington Castillo and was watched by Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode and by special assistant Greg Maddux. Wells entered the day 2-0 with a 5.68 ERA in 4 starts. He had given up 13 hits in 122/3 innings.
He's slated to be starting pitcher in the third game of the regular season, April 8 in Atlanta. In Wednesday's game Wells threw 84 pitches, 56 strikes. His longest inning was the fifth, when he threw 24 pitches. Other than that, he worked quickly and efficiently.
Scare for Nady: The idea was for Xavier Nady to play right field and perhaps lightly test his surgically repaired right elbow in a Class AA game for Tennessee, right next to the field where Randy Wells was pitching for Iowa.
Turns out Nady didn't get to make a play in the field, but he was hit near the bottom of his right hand with a pitch during his fourth plate appearance.
Nady grimaced and headed to first base, but a trainer tended to him, and Nady was replaced by a pinch runner.
The Cubs said the hand appeared only to be bruised and that Nady had full range of motion. X-rays were not immediately planned.
Before that, Nady struck out, grounded into a double play and hit an RBI double. He is on the mend from last July's Tommy John surgery. He has served as a DH only in Cactus League games so far.
Homer for Aramis: Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, batted five times in the Class AAA game and finished with a flourish, hitting a towering home run over the fence in left-center field.
Ramirez has been suffering from a sore triceps. He struck out, grounded out twice and popped out before hitting the home run.