Catcher Matt Wieters is scheduled to resume throwing Saturday, and although his return from Tommy John elbow reconstruction in June remains uncertain, the Orioles have begun mapping out parts of his recovery.
“It's encouraging,” Showalter said. “I think he feels better.”
Wieters, who was shut down with elbow tendinitis last week, is unlikely to make the Orioles' Opening Day roster. He will not accompany the team to Baltimore for its home-opening series, staying in Sarasota for his rehabilitation.
He will be with the team for its season-opening series in Tampa Bay on April 6-8, but after that, Wieters is scheduled to report back to Sarasota, where he likely would play in extended spring training exhibition games when ready.
Showalter also said that once Wieters is ready for a minor league rehab assignment, he likely will do most of his work out of Baltimore and play at either Single-A Frederick or Double-A Bowie.
The Orioles can activate Wieters on April 11, but he's not likely to be ready by then.
Right-hander Tyler Wilson, the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season after going 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 28 starts between Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk, will start Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the New York Yankees in Tampa.
Wilson has been impressive in his five outings, allowing just one run over 10 innings. He has yielded nine hits and struck out nine batters with just one walk this spring.
The Orioles' 10th-round pick out of Virginia, Wilson earned a spot on the 40-man roster this offseason.
Arencibia scratched from Triple-A game
Catcher J.P. Arencibia was scratched from Thursday's Triple-A game with a strained right flexor mass.
Arencibia was set to catch his third straight minor league game.
“We want him to catch,” Showalter said. “We've talked about it. Let him catch as many days in a row he can. … You come to a new organization — ‘rusty' is not the word. He seemed to have some anxiety to his game. We just wanted him to go out there and catch.”
Arencibia has struggled this spring, with four passed balls in eight Grapefruit League games. He is also 0-for-3 against base stealers.
Showalter said he met with Arencibia this week and told him he was going to catch in minor league games. Showalter said the reports on Arencibia have been good, and that he homered in Wednesday's game.
“I know he's so much better than he's shown,” Showalter said. “I was reading the reports coming over here. They were pretty effervescent about him yesterday. He's going to be a guy who, if he ends up in Triple-A, you're going to like him being around the pitchers. … He likes to play. A good guy. For a guy who has played four or five years in the big leagues, nothing is beneath him.”
With Wieters likely to open the season on the disabled list, the Orioles are choosing among Arencibia, Steve Clevenger (Mount Saint Joseph) and Ryan Lavarnway as the backup catcher behind Caleb Joseph.
Around the horn
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop was back in the clubhouse Thursday after having a wisdom tooth and a molar extracted Wednesday. He has two other teeth that need to be removed, but he said he can wait until the offseason. Schoop could return to the lineup today. … Showalter said outfielder David Lough (back spasms) could return in today's home game against the Rays. … Outfielder Travis Snider hasn't played the past three games and likely won't play until Saturday against the Yankees. He's sitting against left-handers, Showalter said. … Right-hander Bryan Mitchell is scheduled to start for the Yankees on Saturday. Left-hander CC Sabathia had been scheduled to start for New York. Left-hander Justin Wilson, right-hander Andrew Bailey and right-hander Kyle Davies are also slated to pitch for the Yankees. The Orioles have not yet announced a starter for that game. … Fans attending Tuesday’s home game against the Rays at Ed Smith Stadium are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items and/or monetary donations to benefit the All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota. Since 2011, over 2,896 pounds of food and $4,000 in cash donations have been collected during the team’s yearly spring food drive.