The Orioles optioned struggling right-hander Tyler Wells to Double-A Bowie after Saturday night’s game. Wells allowed three runs on three hits and walked three in 2 2/3 innings in the Orioles’ 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees.
In his last three starts since the All-Star break, Wells has allowed 11 runs on 10 hits with nine walks in nine innings. This season, Wells is 7-6 with a 3.80 earned-run average.
“We feel like he needs a little bit of a break,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “A little bit of a reset. His stuff, since the break, hasn’t looked the same, not the same life to his fastball. The command is obviously not where it was.
“He had an All-Star first half and was league leading in WHIP because of the command and the lack of walks. His only issue was giving up some solo homers once in a while. Really the last three or four starts, there’s been some things in there that were uncharacteristic. We feel like the right thing to do for him and for us because we need him back … is to give him a little bit of a break. Sending him to Double-A allows us to have him close and then we’re going to go from there. Hopefully, he’s back with us soon after giving him just a little bit of time off.”
Wells must stay in the minor leagues for at least 15 days unless he’s replacing an injured player.
Hyde said that Wells will pitch in games for the Baysox but will get a break first.
“We have a plan in place for him on the mound where it’s kind of a low workload,” Hyde said. “Just so he stays somewhat stretched out, but also keeps his feel. We’re hoping that low pressure environment, low workload allows him to rejoin us and be the Tyler Wells we saw in the first half.”
Hyde said that Wells was disappointed in the news but reacted positively.
“Incredibly understanding, unbelievably professional, appreciative. He knows that we’re doing what we feel is the right thing for him, and for us,” Hyde said. “He’s a big part of our team and we need him to be right, so you make tough decisions to have him pitch in big spots for us in September and, hopefully, October. He understood all that.”
Wells has thrown 113 2/3 innings and has never thrown a full major league season as a starter. Neither have Dean Kremer, Sunday’s starter, who’s thrown 115 2/3 innings, nor Kyle Bradish with 104 innings.
“I’m so proud of all these guys. Tyler, he’s in uncharted waters right now,” Hyde said. “All these guys are going to go through things for the first time, and that’s part of development and part why they’re going to be good down the road, too. We’re trying to win right now, and we’re trying to win down the road.
“These guys have taken huge steps in their career this year. We’re going to monitor things and see what happens. We need all them to go where we want to go … He’s going to be better for this long-term.”
Wells had been scheduled to start on Thursday at Toronto. Now, that spot is listed as undecided, and the decision is complicated by the trade deadline at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
“This is an unusual week, so we’ll see what happens,” Hyde said.
Hyde didn’t dismiss using Wells as a reliever when he returns.
“It’s possible. We’ll see what the roster looks like,” Hyde said. “I don’t even know what the roster’s going to look like next week.”
The Orioles purchased the contract of right-hander Joey Krehbiel from Triple-A Norfolk and to make room for Krehbiel on the 40-man roster, they designated right-hander Eduard Bazardo for assignment.
Krehbiel, who was 5-5 with a 3.90 ERA last season with the Orioles, was 1-1 with three saves and a 3.00 ERA at Norfolk. It was hard for him to watch others promoted before him.
“Those guys are players, but they’re also my friends,” Krehbiel said. “Of course you want it to be you, but when they get called up, you’ve got to be happy for them as well, and then I played with everyone here all year last year, so I’m happy about the success they’re having this year.”
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