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.
The Orioles declined their $5 million club option on catcher Nick Hundley on Thursday, but they are still interested in bringing him back, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports. They didn’t like the $5 million price tag for a back-up catcher, so they’ll work to re-sign Hundley at a lower price.
In the event the Orioles and Hundley can’t reach an agreement, they will still have Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger as options to back up Matt Wieters in 2015.
The Orioles acquired Hundley in a May trade, sending reliever Troy Patton to the Padres in return. In 174 plate appearances with the O’s, Hundley hit .233/.273/.352 with five home runs and 19 RBI.
With Matt Wieters a lingering question mark due to an elbow injury, the Orioles have acquired catcher Nick Hundley and cash considerations from the Padres in exchange for left-hander Troy Patton.
Hundley was hitting .271 (16-for-59) with one home run and three RBI in 33 games with the Padres this season while serving as Yasmani Grandal’s backup. The 30-year-old owns a .238/.296/.389 batting line in the majors and figures to get the bulk of the playing time over Steve Clevenger in Baltimore. He’s being paid $4 million this season and his contract includes a $5 million club option for next year.
Patton, 28, sat out the first 25 games this season while serving a suspension for Adderall use. He has a 3.28 ERA over 161 2/3 innings in the majors and will presumably function as a left-handed specialist with his new club.