Padres replace Wells with Stults in rotation

Padres replace Wells with Stults in rotation

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres designated veteran starter Kip Wells for assignment Friday, ending the 35-year-old's short, shaky San Diego tenure.

The Padres turned to Wells in late June to patch a hole in their injury-riddled rotation. He threw to a 4.58 ERA and 2-4 record in seven starts, yielding 41 hits in 37 1/3 innings pitched. Lapses in command were often Wells' undoing, a story told by his ratio of 20 walks to just 19 strikeouts in those outings.

"Wells gave us a couple 'W's,' a great game in Colorado, a couple other good games," manager Bud Black said. "When we needed another starter ... Kip gave us a guy that took the ball every fifth day and went out there with an expectation to win."

The departure of Wells leaves the Padres with an open rotation spot, and while he has not yet announced what his rotation will look like beyond this weekend, Black did say left-hander Eric Stults will be moving back into the starting rotation.

Stults, who landed on the disabled list in early June with a strained left lat muscle, returned to the club as a long reliever June 22. He has made five starts for the Padres this season, posting a 3.26 ERA in 30 1/3 innings.

As it shapes up now, the Padres started Clayton Richard on Friday and plan to start Edinson Volquez and Jason Marquis this weekend. Black has left Monday and Tuesday's starters up in the air, though those slots would presumably be filled by Stults and current fifth starter Ross Ohlendorf, who had posted three straight quality starts prior to a 1 2/3-inning, six-run showing in Cincinnati on Thursday.