What they're saying about Wells' injury and Orioles' 11-3 rout of Twins - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

What they’re saying about Wells’ injury and Orioles’ 11-3 rout of Twins

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports


BALTIMORE—What happened? Just before gametime, the Orioles placed right-hander Tyler Wells on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to April 13th, because of right elbow inflammation.

Wells, who was scheduled to start Wednesday’s afternoon game against the Minnesota Twins, was 0-2 with a 5.87 earned-run average.

The injury leaves the Orioles searching for another starter with both right-hander Kyle Bradish, who started Tuesday for Double-A Bowie in his first rehab assignment, and left-hander John Means, who will make his fourth start on Wednesday for Triple-A Norfolk, missing from the starting rotation.

“We’re staying optimistic about it,” manager Brandon Hyde said after the Orioles pounded 15 hits in an 11-3 win over the Twins. “We decided for precautionary reasons to put him on the IL with right elbow soreness, but we’re really confident he’s going to be OK … After his last start, he just had a little bit more soreness than normal. It didn’t quite go away. That’s why we were waiting and just felt like the right thing to do, from a precautionary standpoint if he felt anything at all, was to put him on the IL and give him a couple of weeks off.”

Hyde said the Orioles hadn’t decided on a starter for Wednesday’s game. “We’re talking about that right now,” he said.

“As a starting pitching staff, very close-knit group, we’re trying to pick each other up, and I think that’s what we’re going to do,” Oriole starter Grayson Rodriguez said after running his record to 3-0.

The Orioles replaced Wells on the roster for Tuesday night’s game with catcher David Bañuelos who had been on the taxi squad. Norfolk infielder Liván Soto was designated for assignment to make room for Bañuelos on the 40-man roster.

What happened in the game? Gunnar Henderson drove in three runs with a two-run home run and a single. Jordan Westburg and Ryan O’Hearn hit two-run homers in the Orioles’ 11-3 win, their third straight.

Rodriguez gave up two runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked three.

“That was probably one of our most complete games of the year so far,” Hyde said. “What we did in every single area. The way we swung the bat, with runners in scoring position, with power, the way we ran the bases. Grayson was really good. We played really good defense. There were a lot of positives tonight. A lot of guys swung the bat extremely well and played really good baseball tonight.”

The Orioles (11-6) scored nine runs against Twins starter Chris Paddack in 5 1/3 innings.

Colton Cowser also drove in two runs. The Orioles had 15 hits, a season high, and hit three home runs in their fourth consecutive game for the first time since May 21st-24th, 2013.

Jackson Holliday was hitless in three at-bats, striking out twice and walking once. He’s batting 1-for-22 (.045).

The Orioles have an 11-6 good record without Bradish and Means. Now they’re missing Wells.

“The way to have success over the course of this six-month season is going to be depth-driven,” Hyde said. “We’re going to be using a lot of people. It’s just the way the game is now. That was one of our biggest areas of success last year, how we kept as many people healthy as we possibly could for six months.

“We’re going to have setbacks along the way, things like putting Wellsy on the IL. We’re hoping it’s only going to be a couple of weeks. Hopefully, we can avoid those type of things like we did last year. I’m happy with how we’ve played the last couple of days. We’re pretty dangerous offensively. If we can keep these type of offensive core swinging the bat the way we are right now, we should have success.”

What about the offense? Rodriguez was thrilled to be backed by 11 runs.

“The offense is special. It’s going to be special,” Rodriguez said. “It’s fun to watch. Any time we can put up 11 runs, it’s a lot of fun, especially from the dugout. “

Henderson has had multiple hits in three consecutive games.

“I have an idea of what everybody can do, and it just feels like when we’re clicking, this is the kind of night we can have,” he said. “Being able to put one of these nights together is really fun, and it just shows what this offense can do.”

O’Hearn has hit homers in three straight games. In the sixth inning, Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton robbed him of a home run, and two innings later, he thought he had homered but had to wait through a crew chief challenge. Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli thought there was fan interference with Buxton.

“He’s one of the best centerfielders in the game, and he can go up and get it with the best of them,” O’Hearn said. “I would prefer to hit it away from him.”

O’Hearn was an invaluable player in 2023, and he’s showing his value again this year.

“We’ve got a really good team. We had a really good team last year,” he said. “I’m not going to compare teams at this point.”

What about McCann? James McCann started at catcher for the seventh time in 17 games. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and is hitting .280.

“Any time I can give Adley [Rutschman] a day off from behind the plate, I’m going to, especially early in the year,” Hyde said.

As is often the case when McCann catchers, Rutschman was the designated hitter.

Hyde is trying to avoid personal catchers for pitchers.

“Sometimes with certain catchers, certain pitchers work better together than others,” he said. “With these two guys, I’m not trying t pair up, at least as of right now because they’re both so good  and pitchers like throwing to both of them.”

What about Bañuelos? With the Orioles up by nine runs, Hyde wanted to get Bañuelos an at-bat in the eighth inning. He flied out to right.

“It means the world, man. Something that you dream of as a kid,” Bañuelos said. “It was a great moment. I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Shoutout to the boys, putting some damage up early, allowing me to get a pinch-hit there at the end of the game.”

When he was introduced, Bañuelos was greeted by a loud ovation with many fans standing.

“I’m not going to lie. I did it hear,” he said. “Honestly, one of the coolest moments of my life, for sure, if not one of the coolest. It’s one of those things you work hard your entire life and you dream of as a kid. Hearing the whole crowd cheer for you as you take your first [at-bat] in the big leagues, it’s awesome.”

He was designated  for assignment on Wednesday to make room for Albert Suárez, who’ll start against the Twins.

What’s the word? “I’m fine. I’m going to be OK. Everything is going to be all right. The world is not falling. This team is still really good, and I’m coming to the field every day ready to help the team win. I know that things are going to turn around for me. We’re going to look up at the end of the season, and this might be the best season I’ve had in my career. That’s how the game goes.”-Austin Hays on his difficult start

What’s going on with Cionel Pérez? Pérez is on the 15-day injured list with a strained right oblique, and Hyde said he’s moving ahead.

“Cionel is starting to throw sides here,” Hyde said. “We’re hoping to schedule a live [batting practice] with him early next week and start a progression from there. Not too far away.”

What does it mean? The absence of Wells will hurt the Orioles. Even if he didn’t remain in the starting rotation when Bradish and Means returned, he could have gone to the bullpen.

What’s the stat of the day? 11-6. The Orioles are five games over .500 without Bradish and Means and with Wells going on the IL.

“I think it’s very impressive,” Rodriguez said. “Those are two big arms. Whenever they get back, we’re going to be a lot better. In the meantime, we’re going to pick them up and just keep going out there and throwing the ball. Whoever gets it that day is going to go out there and compete and hopefully put this team in a good spot to win.”

What’s going on with Bradish and the rest of the minor leagues?

Bradish, who’s on the 15-day injured list with a sprain of his right ulnar collateral ligament, threw three scoreless innings for Bowie, allowing one hit, striking out four without walking a batter. He threw 44 pitches as the Baysox beat Altoona, 10-4.

Brandon Young, who followed Bradish, left after an inning with left oblique soreness. Designated hitter Samuel Basallo, rightfielder Dylan Beavers and first baseman TT Bowens homered for Bowie.

Shortstop Liván Soto hit a two-run home run in Triple-A Norfolk’s 4-3 loss to Jacksonville. Soto was later designated for assignment.

High-A Aberdeen was held to three hits in its 3-2 loss to Hudson Valley. Catcher Creed Willems homered.

Nestor German and Braxton Bragg combined to limit Down East to two hits, but Single-A Delmarva lost for the ninth time in 10 games, 1-0.

What’s next? Albert Suárez had his contract selected on Wednesday morning and will start against Minnesota’s Pablo López (1-2, 4.86) on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. in the final game of the homestand.

Call for questions: Each weekday, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles’ question. Please send yours to: [email protected]

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