Matt Wieters came down with some tendinitis in his right elbow earlier this week after catching in a game for the first time since Tommy John surgery and now he’s essentially been ruled out for the start of the season.
According to Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com, Orioles manager Buck Showalter conceded today that Wieters is likely to begin the season on the disabled list. He doesn’t want to carry Wieters as a designated hitter if he can’t catch, so they aren’t going to rush his recovery. He’s nine months removed from the surgery right now, so Showalter still thinks he’s “on if not ahead of schedule.” He’ll be eligible to be activated as soon as soon as April 11.
This is a big year for Wieters, who is eligible to become a free agent this winter. Making sure that elbow is right before he returns is the top priority for both him and the Orioles. Caleb Joseph will likely open the season as the starting catcher while Steve Clevenger, J.P. Arencibia, and Ryan Lavarnway are candidates for the backup job.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is on his way back from Tommy John surgery, but should be ready for Opening Day according to agent Scott Boras, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. Wieters underwent surgery in mid-June.
Before going on the disabled list on May 11, Wieters was performing quite well, batting .308/.339/.500 with five home runs and 18 RBI. The 28-year-old catcher told reporters that he experienced elbow discomfort on a throw to second base on April 20, and it was bothersome for several weeks thereafter before he was ultimately sidelined.
As mentioned on Saturday night, the Orioles would have to rely on Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger if the season were to start today, which is why the club has been interested in bringing back Nick Hundley. However, Hundley reportedly has a two-year deal from an unknown team, and the Orioles ostensibly aren’t interested in going beyond one year with the veteran.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that free agent catcher Nick Hundley has a two-year offer from an unknown team. The Orioles were hoping to re-sign him, but are apparently not willing to go the multi-year route with the seven-year major league veteran.
Matt Wieters, recovering from Tommy John surgery, may not be ready for Opening Day [Update, 12/21: Agent Scott Boras says Wieters will be ready], so the Orioles would like to have ample depth behind the dish to begin the season. If the season were to start today, Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger would handle catching duties.
Hundley, 31, posted a meager .625 OPS in 174 plate appearances for the Orioles after coming over from the Padres in a May trade.