BALTIMORE–The season is over for Orioles reliever Tyler Wells. He left Friday night’s game with discomfort in his right shoulder, and the Orioles placed him on the 10-day injured list because of inflammation of the shoulder.
“We’re doing further tests, but right now we think it’s fatigue and shoulder discomfort,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’re feeling positive that it’s not too serious. He should be fine, just a long year for him. Coming back off a couple of years of not playing.
“One hundred and sixty-two games this year. It’s some shoulder fatigue.”
Hyde said he didn’t notice signs of trouble for Wells on Friday night or in the days preceding it.
“He felt good,” Hyde said. “He wanted to be up last night because he was able. Just one of those things, felt good in the bullpen, felt good through his warmups. It was the first pitch of the inning.”
Wells, who was one of two Rule 5 draft picks last December, ends the season with a 2-3 record and a 4.11 ERA in 44 games. Hyde had been using him as his ninth-inning option in recent weeks, and he had four saves in seven chances.
“Tyler was a guy that [in] the middle part of the year was pitching big innings for us, fifth through seventh inning, doing a great job,” Hyde said. “I just like the way he commanded the ball and threw strikes.”
Wells had Tommy John surgery in 2019 when he was in the Minnesota Twins organization and didn’t pitch in 2020.
“Didn’t want to push him too hard just because of his situation and as it got later in the year, tried a couple of other guys out,” Hyde said. “We were struggling in that role, I said, ‘Let’s see what we’ve got in Tyler,’ and he did a really good job with it.”
Wells stands out because of his height, 6 feet 8, and composure.
“As the season started, I threw him out there more,” Hyde said. “You saw that he had confidence. He wasn’t afraid of the big leagues. He was throwing a ton of strikes. You saw his stuff improve throughout the course of the year. He wasn’t throwing 97 in spring training or the beginning part of this year.”
Earlier in the season, Hyde talked about Wells as a future starter, and that’s something to think about over the winter, Hyde said.
“He got stronger as the year went on,” Hyde said. “The confidence continued to build and he recognized that his stuff played here. Great improvement over the course of the season, and a great development story for us, and excited for him going forward.”
The injured list has expanded this month — 11 Orioles are on it, including four added this week: Wells, Keegan Akin (left adductor strain), Ramón Urías (right adductor strain), DJ Stewart (right knee).
Without Wells, Paul Fry, who has been at Triple-A Norfolk this month because of ineffectiveness, and Tanner Scott, who is also on the 10-day injured list because of a sprained left knee, the bullpen is much different. In Friday night’s 8-5 loss to the Texas Rangers, Hyde used Joey Krehbiel, a reliever the Orioles acquired this week on waivers from Tampa Bay and one he hadn’t seen, in a crucial situation in the seventh and eighth innings.
“There was a righty pocket that came up,” Hyde said. “Let’s give this guy a shot. Let’s see if he can handle three right-handers. I had no idea what to expect. He did a good job.”
Krehbiel retired two of the three hitters he faced, and he’ll get more chances.
“For this last week of the season, you’re going to see guys maybe pitching in roles that we didn’t expect in the middle of the year,’ Hyde said.
Notes: To replace Wells on the roster, the Orioles recalled right-hander Spenser Watkins from Triple-A Norfolk. Watkins is 2-7 with an 8.42 ERA in 14 games with the Orioles. … Hyde said that Bruce Zimmermann, who’s on the 60-day injured list because of a sprained right ankle, is expected to pitch against Boston in the series that begins Tuesday. “He’s not fully built, starter-wise,” Hyde said. The Orioles could use him as part of a bullpen game. … Right-hander César Valdez has cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk. … Catcher Nick Ciuffo is in the lineup for Saturday night’s game against Texas. He’ll be the 62nd player used by the Orioles, extending their club record. … Cedric Mullins, who became the first Oriole to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season on Friday night, isn’t in the lineup.