ST. PETERSBURG -- The Orioles received good news on catcher Matt Wieters' right elbow on Wednesday as the Gold Glove winner will avoid the disabled list and be able to hit while giving the injury a chance to calm down.
Wieters, who was the designated hitter for Tuesday's series opener against the Rays, flew to Pensacola, Fla. Wednesday morning and was examined by Dr. James Andrews. The diagnosis, which came on the heels of Monday's MRI, was that Wieters is dealing with some discomfort in the area and avoiding throwing will help alleviate that.
"Definitely [good news]," said Wieters, who rejoined the Orioles about 30 minutes prior to Wednesday's game, which he was not starting. "Any time there's a positive outlook to where we definitely see getting back on the field sooner rather than later. You ultimately hope for, 'Hey, you're good to go,' but I think we've got to be smarter than that and make sure we let everything kind of heal and calm down before we push it again."
Wieters first felt the injury on a throw down to second base during a cold April night game in Boston and he missed one game in Toronto but was back after that. He said there wasn't any pain throwing, but he knew something just wasn't right.
"It was kind of forearm and even a little bicep just when I first did it on that throw and I think those symptoms we got a hold of and got control of, and then it kind of set into the elbow a little bit," he said, "and that's when the real concern happens that you want to make sure you get it checked out and looked at."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the expectation is Wieters will be back in the lineup at DH on Thursday and Wieters echoed that sentiment, saying it would be a tough adjustment to not be on the field.
"It doesn't really aggravate it [hitting]," Showalter said. "We're trying to let it scar over a little bit. It's not a given that he's going to have to have some form of surgery either. A lot of guys manage this for the rest of their careers. That's about as good a news as we could [expect]."
Wieters said it was a relief to get Wednesday's news, particularly given the response a visit to Andrews usually brings, and despite the short turnaround he would available to hit on Wednesday night. To add catching depth while they wait on Wieters, the O's purchased the contract of Caleb Joseph and the rookie got the start behind the plate.
Asked if Wieters would get more rest this season due to this injury Showalter said: "Probably not any more than we had planned to do anyway. It's like I told Matt last night when I DH'd him, I'm not going to bring him in to that game to catch and throw because, until both doctors had seen him and we knew what we were dealing with, I wasn't going to do something. It doesn't hurt him to hit at all. That's not a factor either way.
"I'm not going to give you an exact timeframe for when he will be catching again, but I think if it proceeds down the path we think it will, he'll be catching again in the near future."