The Orioles rotation took a hit on Friday, with Tyler Wells hitting the 15-Day IL.
Entering play on Friday, Orioles fans got some bad news before game two of the series against the Houston Astros. Orioles righty starter Tyler Wells was placed on the 15-Day IL with right shoulder inflammation, retroactive to September 20.
Taking his spot on the active roster is Spenser Watkins, who was scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday with Triple-A Norfolk in anticipation of the callup. Wells was scheduled to start against the Astros on Saturday, but Mike Baumann will now take the start in that game, with Watkins heading to the bullpen.
Prior to Friday’s game, the Orioles have 13 games left on the docket for the 2022 season, with no days off in between. As such, this move likely ends the season for Wells, who had a strong season after moving to the starting rotation this season.
The most recent start for Wells was on Monday, September 19, against the Detroit Tigers, and it will almost surely be his last one of the season. Wells only lasted 3 innings, letting five runs score on four hits and three walks, striking out three hitters in a loss, dropping his season record to 7-7.
The final stat line for Wells this season looks rather pedestrian. He ends the season with a 4.23 ERA, 1.138 WHIP, and 4.52 FIP, allowing 1.4 home runs per nine innings, throwing 103 2/3 innings in total, and making 23 starts for the Orioles. He ends the year with 76 strikeouts to 28 walks, good for a 2.71 K/BB ratio.
Earlier in the season, Wells missed time from the end of July until early September after leaving a start against the Tampa Bay Rays early due to a left oblique strain. The Orioles have been keeping things cautious with Wells this season, after missing 2019 due to Tommy John Surgery and 2020 due to no minor league season being played.
The outlook for Wells in 2023 is a bit questionable. He’ll most certainly be healthy for Spring Training, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be put in the starting rotation or the bullpen, given that Grayson Rodriguez is on the cusp of the majors, and Austin Voth and Dean Kremer emerged as viable rotation options down the line. For the Orioles, it’s a good problem to have.