The season is likely over for Orioles right-hander Tyler Wells after he was placed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation Friday, with the move retroactive to Sept. 20. Should Wells recover in time, he’ll be eligible to come off the injured list right as the regular season concludes.
To replace Wells, the Orioles have recalled right-hander Spenser Watkins, who should be in line to start for Baltimore against the Houston Astros on Saturday night in place of Wells.
Wells, 28, had only returned from the injured list this month after suffering an oblique strain July 27. He was elevated off the injured list ahead of schedule to face the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 7, serving as a two-inning opener ahead of right-hander Dean Kremer. That outing went smoothly, as did a four-inning appearance the following week against the Washington Nationals. Between those two starts, Wells allowed three runs.
But in his most recent start Sept. 19 against the Detroit Tigers, Wells lasted three innings and allowed five runs. He walked three batters for the first time this season.
Wells has dealt with injuries before, undergoing Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2019 while a member of the Minnesota Twins organization. The coronavirus pandemic cost Wells the 2020 minor league season after he was selected by Baltimore in the Rule 5 draft, and he made his major league debut last year as a closer for the Orioles.
This year, Wells transitioned back to his role as a starter and has largely impressed, recording a 4.25 ERA across 103 2/3 innings.
Watkins returns after he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk early this month. The 30-year-old has a 4.37 ERA in 94 2/3 innings for Baltimore this year, and he was scratched from his scheduled start with the Tides on Thursday in preparation for a potential move.