Tyler Wells Continues to Impress out of Orioles Bullpen
By Arrick Joel
Rookie right-hander Tyler Wells has provided a number of strong innings out of the Baltimore Orioles bullpen so far this season
After striking out a pair of hitters to shut down the seventh inning in a win over the Houston Astros on Monday, Tyler Wells lowered his season-long ERA to 3.79. The rookie pitcher has been somewhat of a revelation out of the Baltimore Orioles‘ bullpen this year, posting numbers comparable to some of the best relievers in Major League Baseball.
Originally taken by the Minnesota Twins in the 15th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, the 6’8″ Oklahoma native was acquired by the Orioles through the Rule 5 Draft this past December. Prior to making Baltimore’s Opening Day roster this season, Wells had last appeared in Minor League Baseball in 2018, spending time between A+ Fort Myers and AA Chattanooga with a combined 2.49 ERA in 119.1 innings at both levels. Wells was promoted to AAA Pensacola to begin the 2019 season but underwent Tommy John surgery that forced him out of play.
After the loss of the 2020 minor league season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wells had been out of baseball for two whole seasons, which allowed the Orioles the opportunity to take a gamble on him with their second-round Rule 5 Draft selection. During Spring Training in Sarasota this year, Wells made five appearances, striking out 12 batters and allowing just one run.
Now halfway into the 2021 campaign, Wells has made himself a mainstay in the Orioles’ bullpen, appearing in 23 games. Across those outings, Wells has worked through 35 and two-thirds innings, posting an ERA of 3.79. Wells’ strikeout rate ranks in the 88th percentile of all pitchers in Major League Baseball. Paired with a walk rate that ranks in the 87th percentile, it’s easy to see why Wells has been so effective this season.
As MLB continues into the latter half of the season, the Orioles will hope to keep Wells effective as an anchor in their bullpen for years to come.