UPDATE: An MRI exam showed no structural damage in Wieters’ surgically repaired elbow, so the Orioles will hope a little time off does the trick.
Uh oh. Matt Wieters‘ elbow soreness has lingered long enough that the Orioles sent him to undergo an MRI exam, with Richard Justice of MLB.com reporting that the three-time All-Star catcher has already been told “a period of rest” is needed at the very least.
Elbow problems are worrisome for any catcher, but particularly with Wieters because he missed most of 2014 and a big chunk of 2015 following Tommy John surgery.
Wieters also bypassed the potential for multi-year offers as a free agent to return to the Orioles via the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer, clearly hoping that a healthy, productive 2016 season would lead to an even bigger payday next offseason.
In other words, both Wieters and the Orioles have a lot riding on the results of his MRI exam.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.