UPDATED: June 27, 10:30am
Sydneysider Alexander Wells is in line to make his Major League Baseball debut after the Baltimore Orioles called the left-handed pitcher up to the main squad.
Hailing from Newcastle, Wells has spent the season with the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, but has been promoted as the Orioles look to utilise their available pitching stocks.
Across his 2021 Minor League Baseball season with Norfolk, Wells holds a 4-3 record with an ERA of 5.63. His past month has produced a 3-1 record with a 2.45 ERA, and is now rated the 17th best prospect as per MLB Pipeline.
Baltimore’s manager Brandon Hyde confirmed the call-up for the 24-year-old, telling MLB.com that a decision will be made on the rotation out of the bullpen.
“We are in need of some guys that can give us some length out of the bullpen,” Hyde said.
“We added a couple of guys today. Wells is in the ‘pen. Then we will make the decision going forward [about starting].”
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Also speaking to MLB.com, Wells himself says a greater confidence and determination to work hard has allowed him to earn this chance.
“I took the confidence from each start and it grew on me,” Wells said.
“I’m going out there and getting my work in — working on the stuff that needs to be worked on. …I’ve been working a lot on my changeup lately and it’s [coming along]. It’s a good pitch for me lately.”
Wells, who’s also represented Australia at the 2015 WBSC Under 18 Baseball World Cup, was signed as an international free agent to the Orioles in 2015 and has dreams of being the team’s starting pitcher.
“It’s a dream come true and hopefully, one day, I will get the start. It doesn’t matter where I pitch. It’s an unreal feeling,” Wells said.
Wells, if he makes his MLB debut with Baltimore, would become the 36th Australian to make it to the Major Leagues. Baltimore is currently playing a series in Toronto against the Blue Jays before traveling to Houston to face the Astros.
Alexander Wells is Australia’s 36th Major Leaguer
Wells has become Australia’s 36th Major League Baseball player when the Baltimore Orioles chose him to enter the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on 26 June.
Coming in for his debut, Wells was selected out of the bullpen and was given the ball at the bottom of the seventh inning.
In his first innings of work at the top level, Wells gave up a walk and a single but three outs prevented any runners scoring. He walked another hitter in the bottom of the eighth but again, the Orioles collected the three outs to ensure no score was added.
Toronto went on to win the game 12-4 but it is hopeful it’s the first of many games for Wells, pitching two scoreless innings for Baltimore a sweet end to a less-than-ideal night.
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