The Orioles have finally gotten a bit of good news to the club. Amid a four game losing streak and some borderline atrocious play, there is finally something to smile about. Matt Wieters, who has been on the DL since May 11, has finally picked up a baseball again. He had his first throwing session down in Houston before the second game of the series against the Astros.
As you’ll probably remember, Wieters has had a problem with his throwing elbow, which led to some speculation about his ulnar collateral ligament and whether he would need Tommy John surgery to repair it. There was word that he was receiving platelet rich plasma injections, which is what many pitchers receive in order to avoid the surgery.
It sounds like good news to have Wieters back to throwing. He estimated that he threw about 25 pitches during the session and felt fine, which bodes well for his future. It looks like he will be able to avoid Tommy John surgery, and he probably will be back to the Orioles sooner rather than later.
Right now, the birds could use anything to gain some momentum. Since the second game against the Brewers, their bats have gone cold, putting up only five runs in the next three games. Both of Wieters’ replacements, Nick Hundley and Caleb Joseph, have limited experience in the orange and black, but neither have done incredibly well at the plate. Hundley is batting .214/.313/.214 in 16 plate appearances and Joseph is batting .040/.172/.040 in 30 plate appearances. As a comparison, before being placed on the DL, Wieters was batting .308/.339/.500 in 112 plate appearances. In other words, the Orioles are missing a solid bat in the lineup right now.
Hopefully, the return of Wieters will be exactly what the Orioles need to finally return to the offensive powerhouse that they should be. Barring any future injuries, the Orioles would finally have the entire starting lineup together for the first time all year, which could be just what they need to push back to the top of the AL East.