Wieters has elbow tendinitis (with more from Showalter)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Matt Wieters has been diagnosed with tendinitis in his right elbow and may not catch for a week after making his Grapefruit League debut behind the plate yesterday in Sarasota.

The Orioles consulted with Dr. James Andrews, who performed ligament-reconstructive surgery on Wieters’ elbow on June 17, and the decision was made to decrease activity.

wieters swing white sidebar.jpgWieters could serve as the designated hitter on Sunday. He was supposed to catch again Thursday against the Pirates in Sarasota.

“We’re going to shut Wieters down for about a week, maybe less,” Showalter said. “Just decrease activity. Like I told you yesterday, the big day for us was coming into today. He has some tendinitis working there. We’re probably not going to DH him for a couple days to let it all quiet down. Next time we’d consider something with him is Sunday as a DH. He could be cleared sooner. Things may change.

“Talked with Dr. Andrews today. It’s normal. It’s around a nine-month period. It’s not a setback. I’m surprised we haven’t had any of this before. He’s not feeling anything acute or anything. Just after listening to him describe how he felt today, Richie (Bancells) on the safe side said just call Dr. Andrews.

“With all the time we have left, we thought it would be prudent to just try to get ahead of it. He’s been doing a lot of things on the half field and throwing program. He’s been doing things that he didn’t do when he was healthy. There’s been a lot there. His legs feel great, though. I don’t think it puts anything in jeopardy, but we’ll see.”

Showalter still doesn’t think he’d have Wieters DH on opening day. It’s catch or go on the disabled list.

“Probably not,” he said, “but don’t hold me to it.

“Jut tendinitis,” Showalter added. “It was something we were all kind of expecting at some point. We all kind of thought if we back off a little bit, we’ve got a long time yet. We’re only halfway through the spring training season.”

Wieters is 0-for-23 this spring. The Twins didn’t attempt to steal against him yesterday.

Showalter referred to having Wieters on the opening day roster as still being “a distinct possibility. But if not then, shortly thereafter.

“I don’t think we’re at a point yet (to know). We’ll see how the tendinitis manages.”

Showalter said the news doesn’t come as a surprise, though the media was blindsided by it this morning while standing in his office at Hammond Stadium.

“Not at all,” Showalter said. “In fact, I was surprised he hadn’t had it before. I really am.”

Showalter said he didn’t sense that Wieters was concerned about the elbow.

“Maybe you guys can get a better read, but I think he’s very mature about it,” Showalter said. “I welcome it. I think he’s very frank about it. You see it with (Dylan) Bundy and if you read between the lines, (Hunter) Harvey. You’re trying to do things where you get stronger each time and be there for August and September and October. I think that this is that kind of thing here.

“We’re trying to do whatever it takes for him to build up and be the guy we know he can be. With each passing month, get better and better and better.”

The Orioles didn’t schedule X-rays or an MRI on Wieters’ elbow, and no tests are anticipated at the moment.

“I know the plan with Dr. Andrews is to back off it for a week,” Showalter said. “The Sunday thing, obviously, is not a week. It’s just the next time we think about DHing him. He actually talked about DHing tomorrow. I’m saying, let everything quiet down.

“The offensive part of it, I don’t think it’s something he’s overly concerned with at this point. I’m not.”

Though the Twins didn’t attempt to steal on Wieters yesterday, he wasn’t idle behind the plate.

“He took infield. He had ups, downs, he had throws between innings,” Showalter said. “That was challenging and it was at a different speed. I don’t care what you do on back fields, where there’s just a different adrenaline flow, a different arm speed. There’s throwing the ball down between innings.

“He said he felt a little, what’s the word, just a little achiness, with a couple, maybe two out of seven throws. I think we don’t want it and Matt doesn’t want it to mushroom into something bigger than hopefully it is.”

Showalter didn’t notice that Wieters was experiencing any discomfort. He didn’t see anything sketchy.

“That’s why I asked him yesterday, ‘What are you thinking?’ And he was talking pitch sequence or something, but I could tell there’s probably been some of that on his mind - whether I should push forward or be cautious,” Showalter said.

“It’s uncharted territory for him. He knows what it is supposed to feel like and he knows what it feels like, but he hasn’t been through it. I think it’s one of the things why Manny (Machado) has been as much of a confident player with this whole thing, because he has gone through this whole thing before. Matt hasn’t. There’s not a chart for that, you know? So we’re just going to take a little caution with it.”

blog comments powered by Disqus