Orioles have no timetable yet for Matt Wieters’ return

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Orioles catcher Matt Wieters won’t be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on May 26 and Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that there’s still no timetable for his return from an elbow injury that may eventually require surgery.

Wieters recently received a platelet-rich plasma injection to hasten the healing process and told Ghiroli that he’s optimistic about avoiding surgery, but he’s not even to the point of beginning a throwing program yet.

Wieters was off to a big start before being placed on the disabled list, hitting .308 with five homers and an .838 OPS in 26 games, and the Orioles initially thought he might be able to stay in the lineup at designated hitter before deciding instead to shut him down.

Steve Clevenger and Caleb Joseph have been sharing time behind the plate in Wieters’ absence, with Joseph getting more of the playing time recently.

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Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.