Yesterday was the lone off day scheduled for the Baltimore Orioles this spring in Sarasota. The Birds have also had two impromptu days off (including Monday) due to rain outs, but I digress. We’ve talked some about various injury problems, including Manny Machado’s knee, Alexi Casilla, and Nick Markakis‘ shoulder. However there’s another injury that popped up last week in camp that might be one to watch. Matt Wieters turned his ankle running the bases the middle of last week. At first Buck Showalter was hoping that he’d be able to play this past Saturday, and then it shifted to Monday – which was rained out.
I have no doubt that Wieters will be ready to go and healthy for Opening Day. However what about the time that he missed in camp? At
this point, Wieters hasn’t played in a game in a week since being hurt. Granted he was to be back on this past Monday, but that game was rained out. So do the Orioles have a problem brewing on their hands in that regard?
To be blunt, no they do not. Keep in mind that catchers reported approximately a week prior to regular position players, and thus have that extra work under their belts. Wieters is expected to be starting behind the plate this afternoon when the Orioles take on Tampa with Wei-Yin Chen on the mound. However anyone that’s ever seen Wieters play or followed my twitter feed during games (“Don’t. Run. Ever.”) knows what an asset Matt Wieters is behind the plate. Fans can rest assured that a few days off aren’t going to affect him as a catcher. (And keep in mind that just because he hasn’t played in a game since last week doesn’t mean he hasn’t worked out or worked on his catch and throw skills.)
Including the aforementioned game this afternoon, the Orioles have ten games left on their Grapefruit League schedule – including a couple of split squad days. They’ll of course also play their triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides next Saturday in Norfolk before heading for home. I was going to host another short episode of the Birds Watcher radio show this afternoon, but that’s been canceled due to logistical issues. We’ve rescheduled it for Saturday morning at 11 AM. Feel free to tune in using this link, and feel free to call me on the air at 646-478-0614.