The Angels released veteran pitcher Kip Wells this afternoon, making the 36-year old a free agent. Wells had struggled to a 10.36 ERA with an 8.1 BB/9 ratio in 24.1 innings at AAA Salt Lake this season.
July 21, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Kip Wells (60) on the mound during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Despite those almost-scary numbers, Wells could still present a solid depth option for the Nationals on a minor-league deal. When it was decided that Ross Detwiler would not make his scheduled start this past Tuesday, the Nationals were forced to call up a starter from AA (Nathan Karns) because every starter at AAA had either struggled mightily or wasn’t available (i.e Ross Ohlendorf). This shows that the Nationals may not have as much depth as they thought when it comes to pitching, and with the injury bug as contagious as it’s been this season, they’d be smart to address that sooner rather than later.
Wells’ season stats certainly don’t justify the Nationals giving him even a minor-league contract, but recent history does. Wells pitched to a respectable 4.58 ERA in seven starts with the Padres last season, picking up two wins, so perhaps a change of scenery could help Wells to regain the form that led to some success during his time in San Diego. While he didn’t put up sexy numbers with the Padres, he got the job done, and could make a solid addition to the Nationals’ pitching depth.