has been a big part of the Orioles
' lineup this year with a .337/.372/.570 slash line. (J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Tommy John epidemic rolls on unabated, and its next victim might be at the other end of the battery. Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters will visit Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday about his nagging elbow soreness.
Wieters has missed just one game because of the injury, and that was two weeks ago in Toronto. The team called it forearm soreness at the time but the Orioles have zeroed in on his elbow as the source of the trouble.
He said he first felt some discomfort on a throw down to second in a game in Boston last month. Despite being scheduled to visit Dr. Andrews on Wednesday, Wieters started at DH on Tuesday.
This would be a huge blow for the Orioles, as Wieters is in the midst of a huge season. He's hitting .337/.372/.570 with five homers and 18 RBI through Monday, and has been one of the only reliable bats in the lineup during the season's first five weeks. Chris Davis hasn't hit for power and has been on the DL the last two weeks, and Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy have struggled mightily this season. Wieters and Nelson Cruz have carried the Orioles offensively, and it has been enough to help them to the top of the AL East, albeit with an unimpressive 15-14 record heading into play Tuesday.
Should the worst-case scenario indeed come to fruition, the Orioles could find themselves in the market for a catcher. Steve Clevenger
, who owns a career .206/.269/.296 slash line in 275 plate appearances, would take over as the regular starter, at least initially.