Wells OK with new role, prefers to start

Wells OK with new role, prefers to start

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A bullpen assignment wasn't what Rockies right-hander Kip Wells wanted -- certainly not with what he may have thought was another chance to prove he could make the starting rotation.

"I don't look at it like it's the end of the world," Wells said Monday. "The season hasn't even started yet. A lot of things can change. I'll continue to prepare myself to do my job, whether it's to start or not.

"As far as the initial situation, I try to look at it like I was planning on starting, so it's kind of frustrating. Obviously, a change from that is a surprise."

During Spring Training, Wells has dealt with traffic on the bases but on several occasions has avoided big innings. Pitching coach Bob Apodaca said what Wells has shown thus far could make him effective in relief.

Wells gave up five hits and a walk in a four-inning start against the Dodgers on Sunday, but yielded just two runs. Last year, he went 7-17 with the Cardinals but was 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in eight relief appearances.

"He gets ground balls and the ability to get some strikeouts also when he's right," Apodaca said. "I thought he was as close to being right where he needs to be as any game this spring. He had sharpness to his breaking pitch, really good movement on his fastball -- he tied up a number of right-handers inside and got left-handers to roll over.

"That movement can be a good weapon coming out of the 'pen."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.