Orioles moving Wells from Bowie to Norfolk in relief role; Hyde says Henderson should be Rookie of the Year - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles moving Wells from Bowie to Norfolk in relief role; Hyde says Henderson should be Rookie of the Year

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE—Right-handed pitcher Tyler Wells will move from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde announced on Tuesday.

Wells, who was optioned to Bowie on July 29th, has given up three runs on six hits in 8 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking three. He has surrendered two home runs.

“He’s going to pitch out of the bullpen there tomorrow,” Hyde said. “We’re going to shorten his outings, have him throw less pitches and less innings and see how that goes.”

Wells was 7-6 with a 3.80 ERA in a career high 113 2/3 innings before he was sent to Bowie after three rough starts after the All-Star break.

“We’re really encouraged by giving him some rest, giving him some time off,” Hyde said. “He’s throwing the ball much better as of late, so we’re going to put him in Norfolk, different ball, more like major league baseball, and put him in the bullpen and see how that goes.”

Wells’ addition to an already potent bullpen could strengthen the relief corps even further.

“Definitely want to see what that looks like because of how Tyler pitched out of the bullpen a couple of years ago,” Hyde said. In 2021, Wells was 2-3 with a 4.11 ERA and four saves in 44 games, all in relief.

“Tyler has thrown a lot of innings this year for us in the rotation,” Hyde said. “Where we are, I hope we can stay healthy the rest of the way. We want to see what it looks like out of the ‘pen right now.”

Hyde campaigning for Henderson: The Orioles haven’t had a Rookie of the Year since relief pitcher Gregg Olson in 1989, and Hyde is hoping that will change.

He’s endorsing third baseman/shortstop Gunnar Henderson, who had four extra base hits in Sunday’s 12-win over Oakland.

“He should, for one. I’ve been saying that the last couple of days,” Hyde said. “He’s had an incredible rookie year. I don’t think what’s gotten talked about enough is the defense he’s played in two positions, what he’s done at shortstop, what he’s done at third base. He’s extremely advanced and unbelievably consistent and steady for us. The way he swings the bat, he’s a game changer and a difference maker, the speed he has. What he did in that last day in Oakland was incredibly special.”

Henderson had already homered, tripled and doubled before passing up a single and going for a double in his final at-bat in the eighth inning.

“The talent he has, how far he’s come and what he’s dealt with early in the year, and battled through adversity and battled through some struggles,” Hyde said. “These last few months, he’s been an incredible player.”

Henderson is batting .249 with 21 home runs and 61 RBIs and an .813 OPS with a 4.0 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

Entering the season, Henderson was thought to be a favorite for Rookie of the Year.

“It’s cool to be considered that, but at the same time I’m just going to go out there and do my thing. I feel like I’ve done that since Day 1 and  whatever happens, happens,” Henderson said. “You’ve just got to go about it each and every day because you don’t want to play for self-accolades. You want to play for the team and just to help win and make the playoffs.”

As for the postseason, Henderson says games in recent weeks have had that feel.

“Some of these games felt like they were kind of a playoff atmosphere,” he said. “I’ve never been in that atmosphere before, it’s hard to imagine. It’s the biggest stage in the world. It will be pretty cool to hopefully get that experience and to get it at this age.”

The 22-year-old Henderson hasn’t spoken to some of the veterans who’ve played in October.

“I haven’t. When time gets closer, we’ll have those conversations. Until that point, I’ll just keep my head down and keep playing regular-season games  and just keep trying to win,” he said.

Notes: Outfielder Anthony Santander, who hasn’t started since Friday because of back soreness ,is improving, Hyde said. “A lot better today. Pretty sore the last few days,” Hyde said. “Should be available off the bench tonight.” … Pitcher John Means could rejoin the Orioles in early September, Hyde said. Means has thrown 7 1/3 innings in three starts for Bowie. “We’ll see what our roster looks like at that point, see how it goes,” Hyde said. … Baseball America has named the Orioles the top farm system in their midseason rankings. … Right-hander Austin Voth who’s on the 60-day injured list for right elbow discomfort, has concluded his rehab assignment, but the Orioles have yet to make a decision on what’s next for him. “We’re monitoring where we are, how he’s doing and seeing where our bullpen is on a day-to-day basis,” Hyde said. … Bowie has added right-hander Trace Bright from High-A Aberdeen.

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