Alexander Wells was placed on the Orioles’ 10-day injured list on Friday due to elbow inflammation, but the left-hander is now unfortunately set to miss quite a bit more time. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde told reporters (including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com) today that Wells had suffered a Grade 1 UCL strain, and will miss the next 8-12 weeks while recovering. In some positive news, a Grade 1 is the least serious type of strain, and Hyde said that surgery isn’t being considered for now.
Wells will do his rehab work at the Orioles’ Spring Training facility, and look to get himself back on track in his second Major League season. The Australian made his MLB debut in 2021 and appeared in 11 games for Baltimore, making eight starts and posting a 6.75 ERA. Never a big strikeout pitcher even in the minors, Wells had only a 13.2% strikeout rate in his rookie year, and he allowed 10 homers over his 42 2/3 innings of work.
For a rebuilding team that is desperate for pitching, Wells represents a viable arm for the O’s, especially since he delivered some solid numbers while working his way up Baltimore’s minor league ladder. Despite that lack of missed bats (a 19.63% strikeout rate) over 533 2/3 minor league innings, Wells still delivered a 2.85 ERA, starting 97 of 100 games. While a long-term starting role may not be in the cards, Wells could operate as a spot starter or swingman, or perhaps a bulk pitcher behind an opener.