SARASOTA, Fla. - X-rays taken this afternoon on Matt Wieters’ right elbow didn’t raise any concerns among the Orioles, according to manager Buck Showalter, who met with the media following an 8-1 victory over the Twins.
The Orioles no longer are winless in the Grapefruit League, but all of the attention fell upon Wieters, who left for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the first inning.
“Just elbow soreness and decided not to take a chance with him,” Showalter said. “Just get him out of there. (It’s) normal. I think all catchers have it during the spring, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings.
“Doctors examined him and everything, and we’ll see. I think everybody gets alarmed because of, rightfully so, with the surgery there. Hopefully, it’ll manage and be OK.”
Wieters felt the discomfort while attempting to throw out Eduardo Nunez on a stolen base attempt in the top of the first.
“To be honest, as always, it was more on the throw,” Showalter said. “He didn’t like the way he felt, and just decided not to take any chances. John picked it up right away, Russell. He said when the inning ended, ‘Matt doesn’t look comfortable back there.’ I said, ‘Check with him.’ “
Wieters walked to the clubhouse after the top of the second inning and was examined. There are no current plans to schedule an MRI.
“We had one of our orthopedic guys here,” Showalter said. “He’s really good. All of them are good, but he’s already been looked at. Got some ice on it, got a little hopefully inflammation like a lot of guys get during the spring, as hard as Matt’s been working.
“They took an X-ray, looked good. It’s one of those things where if it doesn’t start managing better, they’ll go to the more involved step. But so far, so good.”
Wieters wouldn’t have made the trip to Fort Myers for Sunday’s game against the Twins. He could remain out of the lineup on Monday, when the Orioles return home to play the Phillies.
“We have plenty of time,” Showalter said. “I know Caleb (Joseph) is catching tomorrow. We’ve got to get him back in the mix after his sickness.
“Dom (Chiti) is sick now. Chris (Davis) is sick.”
Audry Perez replaced Wieters in the second inning. He singled and hit a two-run homer, as the Orioles improved to 1-10-2.
Perez and Francisco Pena remain in camp as alternatives if Wieters, who accepted the $15.8 million qualifying offer, is sidelined for an extended period. Joseph would be the starter.
“If I had to answer that question now, we all have preliminary thoughts on it,” Showalter said. “I thought Audry was pretty good today. That’s something they’ve said all along. But I’m going to stay positive where Matt’s concerned. I’m not going there yet. We’ll see what the next few days brings. I’m curious to see how he feels the day after tomorrow, not really tomorrow.
“You guys know I’m not trying to downplay it. It’s always a concern because of the history with it, but I’m thinking good things. Same thing I told Matt.
“There’s a lot of guys, just about all those guys feel some pop or some discomfort where the scar tissue starts giving a little bit, and he’s never had that period, so we’ll see if that’s what happened today or not. I’m not going to get into that woe is me. At least I’m not. Come back in a day or two and we’ll be ready to go. If not ...”
The Orioles reassigned catchers Chance Sisco and Jonah Heim and pitcher Ashur Tolliver following today’s game, and they’ll make two more cuts later in the afternoon. There should be three or four additional cuts by Monday morning.
Paul Janish had a sore left shoulder after diving for a ball yesterday, but he’s fine today.
Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings in his second start against the Twins in five days.
“He was real crisp the rest of the way, I thought. He really got into a competitive flow there,” Showalter said.
“This year is a little different. Ubaldo may pitch against Minnesota in the first series. Who knows? We haven’t gotten that far, yet. We have, we haven’t finalized it yet ...
“With (Chris) Tillman and Toronto, I think we’re in the mode now that nothing other than something positive could be gained from Chris pitching over there. I don’t know. I think some of that we make way too much of. It’s important for these guys to get in front of certain environments.”
Left-hander Chris Lee recorded the last three outs, allowing one hit.
“Chris Lee was good, huh?” Showalter said. “He’s got a good arm. Boy, he’s got a good arm, and we got the goggles on him today, got his new goggles. We still got some others coming.
“It’s not so much the snugness. We’ve got them where they don’t move around now. The nosepiece, this is a different nosepiece. The one before, the one that was bothering him, he couldn’t see across. We’ve got some coming that are clear, a clear nose guard instead of black, so we’ll see.”