Kyle Gibson's advice for Tyler Wells (plus other O's notes)

SEATTLE – Two right-handers that could prove very important for the Orioles will be pitching this weekend. But while right-hander Kyle Gibson will seek a fifth straight quality start tonight at Seattle, Tyler Wells will take the mound in Richmond tomorrow night, making his second start since he was optioned to Double-A Bowie.

Wells headed for the minors after matching and then exceeding his 2022 season innings total and going thru a three-start stretch for the Orioles where he gave up 11 runs over nine innings.

Earlier this year Gibson, the veteran leader of the O’s staff at age 35, had some words of wisdom for rookie Grayson Rodriguez when he was sent back to the minors. Gibson said he and Wells had a similar talk the day after Wells was optioned to the Baysox.

“Had a really good conversation with him,” said Gibson. “I think his head is in a really good place. I’ve been to the spot where I’ve reached a career-high in innings and I’ve been to the spot where I’ve thrown in September for the first time in my career. And I was tired.

“I know that this organization has a plan for him to be a big part of this team. Here toward the end or whatever it is. Not just Tyler, but some of these bullpen guys and our young starters, who have never played a six-month and now hopefully a seven-month season.

“They need to figure out recovery and how to really give your arm and your mind a break from time to time. It’s big. It can really make a big difference down the stretch.”

Overall, Wells has a 3.80 ERA over 113 2/3 innings. But after allowing a batting average against of .190 and OPS of .650 his first 18 games, those numbers were .278/1.069 his last three games.

Wells gave up two hits and one run over 3 1/3 innings last Saturday night at home for Bowie. He threw 53 pitches. And now a week later, he heads back to the mound.

“With how he pitches, 92, 93, 94 (mph) and the life on his fastball, feeling not your best, even if you are 85 percent, can make a big difference in how that late life is on that fastball. The more we can get him 90 to 100 percent, he wants that, everybody wants that,” Gibson said.

And Gibson, ever the leader, reminded Wells that how he handles his demotion to the minors will tell us a lot about him but also will be noteworthy to the young pitchers on the Bowie roster.

“I was sent down in 2017 and I was nine starts in with like a 9.00 ERA,” Gibson recalled. “I was throwing terrible. I had been in the big leagues for three years and got optioned for the first time. There were a lot of emotions and a mental struggle that went with that. But Tyler has his head in the right spot.

“I told him, when you get down there, there will be guys looking up to you and asking you questions. How you show up to the ballpark and how you do your job every day is going to really show them a lot. He had a good mindset about it already.

“He knows he has a purpose for being down there. I fully expect him to run with it - use all the resources we have, then be back and be feeling good.”

The road trip begins: The Orioles will play five series on the West Coast between now and early September. Their latest swing out west begins tonight with three in Seattle, followed by three at San Diego and Oakland also for a nine-game trip.

The Orioles will face a red-hot Seattle (62-52) team that has won seven straight games and six straight series. The Mariners are 9-1 the last 10 games and have won 12 of 14 and 15 of their past 19 games.

Since July 1, Seattle's 24-10 record (.706) is the best in MLB.

The Mariners are 9-1-1 their past 11 series since June 30, losing a series only to the Detroit Tigers in that stretch. 

The Orioles took two of three from Seattle in late June after a 13-1 loss in the series opener. 



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