Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters made his 2015 debut for the Orioles Friday night just hours after the team activated him off the 60-day disabled list.
Wieters will only be available to catch every other day, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun. He said there is no timetable on when he might be fit for day-to-day use, although he said he would be a designated hitter candidate for the team on days when he was not catching.
The three-time All-Star catcher was placed on the disabled list over a year ago when he underwent Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow. He has not played at the major league level since. He completed a five-game minor league rehabilitation period this past week.
The Orioles made several personnel moves Friday around Wieters' arrival, optioning catcher Steve Clevenger and pitcher Mike Wright to Triple A Norfolk and designating infielder Everth Cabrera for assignment. Infielder Rey Navarro and pitcher Cesar Cabral will join the Orioles from Norfolk.
Caleb Joseph will be the other catcher on the roster while Wieters is with the team, the report said.
“The one thing with the surgery, listening to all the pitchers I’ve talked to, you can play after a year, but until you feel normal, it’s going to take 18 months to 24 months to feel normal and I was expecting that," Wieters told the Sun.
"I didn’t know quite to the extent, but I understand now from a pitcher’s side what they’re saying. You can feel like you can play, but to actually feel like you did before the surgery, it’s still going to be a work in progress.”
- Will Green