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Thursday, May 3, 2012
Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood return

By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com

CINCINNATI -- The return of Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster on Thursday cost Randy Wells and Scott Maine their spots on the Chicago Cubs' roster.

Wells' demotion made sense because he had his issues in two outings as Dempster's rotation replacement. He will go back to Triple-A Iowa.

Maine, on the other hand, got caught up in a numbers game. The left-hander had been effective since he was called up to the Cubs on April 20, posting a 1.59 ERA in five outings. He also gave the bullpen a second left-hander to go along with James Russell.

But right-hander Michael Bowden, recently acquired from the Boston Red Sox for Marlon Byrd, does not have any minor league options remaining. Right-hander Lendy Castillo, as a Rule 5 selection this winter, can't be sent down without being offered back to his former team, the Phillies, for half of his $50,000 selection fee.

Maine took his demotion in stride, while Wells struggled with his.

"No, I kind of hate it actually; I'm not happy," Wells said. "I didn't pitch well so there is nobody really to blame but yourself. It still sucks. You obviously want to pitch well and put yourself in a good position, but the numbers just don't stack up. It is what it is."

In his first outing after being recalled, Wells walked five batters against the Reds. Last weekend at Philadelphia, he opened with three hitless innings before falling apart in the fourth, with walks again being an issue.

"The walks are the only thing really that spoils this whole thing," Wells said. "I thought I pitched pretty good against the Reds, just the five walks look (terrible). Obviously the fourth inning at Philly unraveled, and I let it get away from me. But I'm no different than I have been the last three years. I just had a bad inning. Whatever. Chalk it up as a bad day and go back to work."

Dempster, who had been out with a strained right quadriceps muscle, will see action right away, getting the start Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds on his 35th birthday. Homer Bailey, who is celebrating his 26th birthday, is starting for the Reds.

Wood, who was out with what was officially being called "right shoulder fatigue," will return to a less-high profile role in the bullpen. The setup man when the season started now will work in the sixth and seventh innings until he finds his stride and is effective enough to get his old job back.

"We'll monitor him," manager Dale Sveum said. "It will be every other day and when you get him up you get him in the game. Early on here we'll probably use him in less stressful situations."