Cards give Wells another shot, bump Wellemeyer to bullpen

ST. LOUIS -- Kip Wells, a bust as a starter earlier this
year, will get another chance for the St. Louis Cardinals the first
game after the All-Star break.

Kip Wells


Starting Pitcher
St. Louis Cardinals


Wells' 3-11 record and 5.92 ERA remain unsightly, but the
right-hander lowered his ERA more than a point and picked up a
victory after being sent to the bullpen in mid-June. In four
appearances and a spot start he allowed only two runs in 16

"I think he's found better command and life on his fastball
down in the zone," manager Tony La Russa said.

The reinstatement of Wells, a $4 million free agent pickup in
the offseason, means Todd Wellemeyer (3-1, 4.19) returns to the
bullpen. Wellemeyer threw five scoreless innings in a 7-0 victory
over Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, and the
Cardinals are 7-1 in his eight starts.

Mike Maroth (0-1, 4.11) and Adam Wainwright (7-7, 4.66) also are
scheduled to pitch in a three-game series in Philadelphia that
begins on Friday, with Braden Looper (6-7, 4.72) and Brad Thompson
(6-3, 4.90) working the first two games of a three-game set in
Florida after that.

La Russa said informing Wellemeyer after the game was "probably
the toughest decision" of the first half.

"Look at our record on the day he pitches," La Russa said.
"It's remarkable. To tell him he's going to be in the bullpen is a
really tough call."

Wellemeyer didn't seem to mind much. He assumed he'd be back in
relief eventually, with ace Chris Carpenter making his second rehab
start on Sunday and Mark Mulder slowly gearing up for a return. The
Cardinals had also considered moving Thompson back to the bullpen.

"I knew I was going to end up in the bullpen eventually," said
Wellemeyer, a waiver wire pickup from the Royals in mid-May. "I've
got my confidence up and it should be an interesting second half."