Baltimore Orioles: Injury Report on Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Others
By Mike Smith
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Injured Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters saw some action in an extended spring training game on Tuesday. Wieters, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, threw the ball 150 feet. He also took five at-bats, three coming on the left side of the plate, and two on the right side, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Wieters played one game behind the plate during spring training, but he was shut down the next day on March 18th. The Sun reports that he resumed throwing last Wednesday, but hasn’t done any catching or made any game-simulated throws.
However, Orioles manager Buck Showalter is hopeful that Wieters could start a rehab assignment sooner rather than later.
“I wouldn’t be surprised. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was potentially earlier than that. … You can tell he’s feeling pretty good,” Showalter said of a May 1st start date for Wieters’ rehab stint, via Eduardo A. Encina of The Sun.
Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is just about ready for a rehab assigment, he just needs to get a “little catch” out of the end of his swing, according to Showalter, via The Sun.
In Wieters and Hardy’s absence, catcher Caleb Joseph and shortstop Everth Cabrera have handled most of the starting load at their respective positions. Both guys have similar numbers, floating around a .220 batting average through six games, which is about what the Orioles could’ve expected from the replacement players.
With Hardy’s return on the horizon, and Wieters’ return not much further in the distance, Baltimore is not far from adding two big bats that would certainly bring more depth to their already strong lineup.
In other injury news, according to The Sun, third baseman Jimmy Paredes could start rehabbing this week, as he attempts to return from a lower back strain. Meanwhile, pitcher Wesley Wright is scheduled to head to Sarasota, Florida on Wednesday, as he will get set to deal with a strain in his left trapezius muscle. Wright will sit out the next week, waiting for the inflammation in the muscle to go down, then will be reevaluated. As of now, Wright is expected to miss four to six weeks, but he hopes to be back sooner.
“I think once we get the inflammation out we’ll be able to really see the extent of the damage,” Wright said, via The Sun. “If the inflammation goes and I’m able to just proceed normally, I think that’s the best news possible. I think that’s going to be the main thing, the inflammation, and if I get past that point, strengthen the shoulder and I should be well on my way back.”
Though they wouldn’t have the same impact as Wieters or Hardy, Wright would be a big addition to the Orioles roster, as a lefty arm out of the bullpen. As for Paredes, he obviously doesn’t fit in the starting lineup, but he can play a bunch of different positions, and is a switch hitter, so he provides a lot of versatility for Showalter.