The Orioles announced Friday that they’ve selected the contract of righty Konner Wade from Triple-A Norfolk and designated right-hander Mickey Jannis for assignment in a corresponding move. The O’s also optioned righty Dean Kremer to Norfolk and recalled lefty Alexander Wells.
Jannis was just selected to the major league roster earlier this week. The 33-year-old made his MLB debut Wednesday night against the Astros, but it didn’t go well. He worked 3 1/3 innings of mop-up relief but was tagged for seven runs on eight hits (including three homers), issuing four walks while striking out just one. It was a nightmare outing to be sure, but it also came against a Houston lineup that has been far and away the best in baseball this year. Before that tough debut, the knuckleballer earned a big league look by pitching to a 2.92 ERA in 24 2/3 innings with Norfolk. The O’s will have a week to trade him or place him on waivers.
The designation of Jannis frees up Wade to make a late-career MLB debut of his own. A 7th-round pick out of the University of Arizona in 2013, Wade has spent the past seven seasons climbing the minor league ladder. Most of that time was spent in the Rockies and Red Sox systems, but the 29-year-old signed a minor league deal with Baltimore over the winter. He’s spent the entire year in Norfolk, where he’s tossed 31 innings of 3.48 ERA ball, mostly as a multi-inning reliever. Wade has never been one to miss many bats, and that hasn’t changed this year (16.4% strikeout rate). But the righty also has a long history of quality strike-throwing, and that’s continued in 2021 (4.9% walk rate).
Kremer has spent much of the year in the O’s rotation. He’s struggled mightily, though, pitching to a 7.25 ERA with worse than average strikeout and walk numbers (20% and 10.7%, respectively) over 49 2/3 innings. That’s a disappointing follow-up to a decent four-start MLB look in 2020 for Kremer, who’s long been seen as one of the more promising pitchers in the Baltimore system.
Wells is a decently-regarded prospect in his own right. The 24-year-old doesn’t throw hard or miss bats, but he owns some of the best control in the minors. He has a 5.63 ERA across 32 Triple-A frames this season. Wells will be making his major league debut whenever he gets into a game.