Vision issue lands Phils' Wells on disabled list
Orr selected from Triple-A, Howard transferred to 60-day disabled list
NEW YORK -- After growing fearful of getting injured in the field because he couldn't see properly, Casper Wells told Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg about his vision problem on Sunday. Until then, the outfielder tried to play through it but it eventually came to a point where he couldn't any longer.
Philadelphia placed Wells on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with vision complications, and selected the contract of Pete Orr from the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. To clear room on the 40-man roster, the Phillies transferred Ryan Howard from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wells will be re-examined Wednesday at Wills Eye Institute. Wells did not travel with the team.
Sandberg said Wells underwent LASIK surgery in November before trying contact lenses and most recently prescription goggles, but his eyesight never improved enough for him to feel comfortable.
"It finally got to the point where he didn't feel right about that," Sandberg said. "He mentioned production and the betterment of the team and for himself to go ahead and get that looked at and see if he can get that fixed."
Wells also told Sandberg he was experiencing dry eye in the field. So if he was in the outfield or at the plate and didn't blink at just the right time to focus clearly, the ball would be blurry as it neared him.
The Phillies are the third team Wells has played with this season after they claimed him off waivers from the White Sox on Aug. 8, but the first he's told about his vision problems.
"This is the first time he went to a club and said, 'I've had this issue.' He didn't want to use it as an excuse," Amaro said. "I think it got to the point where the other night, he actually started to get more fearful."
Sandberg called it a scary situation, and Amaro said the team wants Wells to get checked out not just for his safety, but for his short- and long-term well-being.
In 11 games with Philadelphia, Wells was only 1-for-23 at the plate. Overall, Wells, who also spent time with the Athletics, is hitting .128 this season.
"You don't know whether that was because he was just struggling or because he was just not seeing the ball well," Amaro said. "Obviously he was having this issue, so it could've been part of it."
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.