Orioles place Wells on injured list, activate Bañuelos from taxi squad

The Orioles have placed Tyler Wells on the 15-day injured list with right elbow inflammation and selected the contract of catcher David Bañuelos from Triple-A Norfolk.

Bañuelos was on the taxi squad and a convenient move for the Orioles, who must find a starter for Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Twins at Camden Yards.

Infielder Liván Soto was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. He homered earlier today in Jacksonville.

Wells has made three starts and allowed 10 earned runs (11 total) and 18 hits in 15 1/3 innings. He’s walked three batters and struck out 13.

Wells faced the Brewers on Friday and surrendered four runs and six hits in four innings. He was in the clubhouse this afternoon during media availability.

"I think it's kind of the same thing that's been going on, a very mediocre start to the season," Wells said after Friday's game. "It was just poor locations. Really, that's all I can say about it."

He said a little more.

"For me, it's very frustrating," he said. "I think everyone knows how I am. I'm going to go out there and I'm going to change something up and figure it out, and I'm going to go out there and continue to do my job and do my job well. It's always my goal. I didn't give the team a chance to win today and that really pisses me off."

The injury comes with Wells determined to complete a full season as a starter following last year’s demotion and September return as a reliever. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, prior to his selection by the Orioles in the 2020 Rule 5 draft, but his trips to the injured list in the majors in 2022 were due to a left oblique strain and right shoulder discomfort.

John Means is scheduled to make his fourth rehab start Wednesday night with Norfolk, which would line him up as Wells’ replacement. But he hasn’t worked more than three innings.

Bruce Zimmermann is on the 40-man roster and would be working on an extra day of rest if he’s promoted. The Baltimore native has allowed 12 earned runs and 15 total in 14 1/3 innings. However, his last outing was his best, with only two unearned runs and two hits permitted in five innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Bañuelos hasn’t appeared in a major league game, and the Orioles aren’t likely to carry three catchers for more than one night. He’s spent seven years in the minors and batted .216/.278/.356 with 51 doubles, five triples, 30 home runs and 144 RBIs in 1,191 plate appearances. He’s thrown out 39 percent of runners attempting to steal.

The Orioles signed Bañuelos on Dec. 21 after he slashed .270/.369/.526 with seven doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and 30 RBIs in 48 games with Double-A Wichita in the Twins organization.

Bañuelos, the only Orioles player to wear No. 91, appeared in only two games with Triple-A Norfolk this season because he’s spent so much time on the taxi squad. He went 3-for-11 with a home run.

The Mariners drafted Bañuelos in the fifth round in 2017 out of Long Beach State. They traded him to the Twins on Dec. 6, 2017 for future considerations.

Wells to injured list; Bañuelos selected, Soto DFA
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