Report: Phillies Sign Australian LHP Lachlan Wells

Pitcher Lachlan Wells of Australia throws in the bottom of the fifth inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool B Game Five between Australia and Cuba at the Tokyo Dome on March 10, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Australian left-handed pitcher Lachlan Wells signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Adelaide Giants of the Australian Baseball League reported on their X account on January 7. 

Wells, 26, was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, and is currently playing in his fifth season in the ABL and his first with the Adelaide Giants after spending four winter league seasons with the Sydney Blue Sox from 2013-16 and 2020-21. 

It is unknown whether Wells has been invited to Major League camp or minor league spring training. The Phillies website has not yet announced the signing of Wells. 

The Adelaide Giants are first place in the 2023-24 ABL regular season at 21-11 and clinched a spot in the league’s best-of-three championship series which starts on January 26. 

The Adelaide Giants first game of their four-game series against the Sydney Blue Sox starts at 3:30 a.m. EST on January 11 at home at Diamond Sports Stadium Bennett Field at Adelaide Shores in West Beach, South Australia. 

All 2023-24 ABL regular season games are streamed on the https://plus.baseball.com.au/en-int/page/home website link until the final out of 2023-24 best-of-three championship series. Australian Baseball League games are streamed via the Baseball+ app available on the Apple Store and Google Play Store. 

This season with Adelaide, Wells has posted a 5-0 record with a 0.73 ERA, throwing 37 innings in seven starts, facing 138 batters, allowing 22 hits, three earned runs, one home run, four walks, 46 strikeouts, and a 0.703 WHIP. 

“I think I just enjoy competing and the challenges that come with it. Going out every five days and being able to just test myself, compete. Having not done that for a year that really built up,” Wells said on the Giants website.  

The Adelaide Giants are currently 7-0 during Well’s starts and opponents are hitting .167 off him. 

Wells began his professional career when he signed to a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins as an international free agent on Nov. 21, 2014. 

He played four seasons in the minor leagues with the Twins at the Rookie level in 2015, 2017, and 2019, and spent time at Class-A Cedar Rapids in 2016, and at Class-A Advanced Fort Myers in 2017 and 2019. 

Wells did not appear in a game in 2018, and according to his MiLB.com profile, he landed on the 7-day injured list on April 5, 2018. Wells underwent Tommy John Surgery and missed the 2018 season. 

In four seasons in the minor leagues, Wells has posted a 17-22 record, throwing 253 innings with a 3.02 ERA in 45 starts and 49 appearances with one complete game, allowing 224 hits, 85 earned runs, 20 home runs, 58 walks, 225 strikeouts, and a 1.115 WHIP. 

Well’s last full professional season in the U.S. minor leagues was in 2019, which he split between Class-A Advanced Fort Myers and the Rookie level. He posted a 4.22 ERA, going 2-6 and throwing 49 innings in 10 appearances and nine starts, allowing 54 hits, 23 earned runs, one home run, 12 walks, 39 strikeouts, and a 1.347 ERA. 

Wells was on the Australian national team roster that went 1-2 in third place at the 2017 World Baseball Classic at not advancing to the next round. Wells came out of the bullpen in two games against Cuba and Japan in Pool B at the Tokyo Dome during the tournament. 

Wells did not play in the 2020 season after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the minor league season. He was assigned to Triple-A St. Paul on Feb. 21, 2021. Wells did not play a game during 2021 and was later released by the Twins organization on Feb. 9, 2022. 

Wells went unsigned during the 2022 season. 

“I wasn’t enjoying the game so much but then having the year off really sparked something. I knew what I wanted to do. It’s been a lot of fun getting here.” Wells said on the Adelaide Giants website. 

In five seasons in the ABL, Wells has a record of 7-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 17 starts and 22 appearances, posting one save, throwing 90 innings, allowing 73 hits, 29 earned runs, two home runs, 24 walks, 93 strikeouts, and a 1.078 WHIP. 

During his eight seasons in the ABL and the minor leagues, Wells is 24-24 with a 2.99 ERA in 71 appearances and 62 starts, throwing 343 innings and allowing 297 hits, 114 earned runs, 22 home runs, 82 walks, 318 strikeouts, and a 1.105 ERA. 

The first spring training game for the Phillies is on February 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays on the road at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., at 1:07 p.m. EST. The Phillies have yet to announce their first day of minor league camp.

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