The good vibes of a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays faded on Tuesday night when Orioles manager Buck Showalter delivered discouraging news on pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada.
An MRA revealed the Japanese southpaw has ligament damage in his pitching elbow, putting his status in doubt for the foreseeable future. Showalter would not specify how severe the damage was nor what treatment route the club and Wada would take, but Showalter met with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette following Tuesday’s game.
“We’ll contemplate, along with him, what the next direction (is) to take, but it showed some damage in there with the ligament that didn’t show up in the physical he took when he signed,” Showalter said.
Without knowing the severity of the ligament tear, the two treatment options would presumably be the rest-and-rehab approach or surgery, which would presumably end his season. The 31-year-old had been durable during his career in Japan before signing a two-year, $8.14 million contract in December.
“I’m trying to be as frank with you without stepping into something I think he deserves to address,” Showalter said. “We were hoping for a little better news about when we might get him back, but it wasn’t all bad. But, it is still something he’s going to have to — along with our doctors — give their opinion on. I think he and his people are still [discussing] what direction to go in.”
Wada pitched in just two Grapefruit League games, allowing five runs in five innings, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow injury at the end of the spring. After progressing nicely in extended spring training work, he was shut down after a disastrous rehab start for Triple-A Norfolk last Thursday in which he allowed six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.
We’ll wait for the final verdict on the plan of attack for Wada’s elbow, but the tone on Tuesday night gave little reason for optimism.