Several injured Orioles will be traveling to South Florida with the team for the Memorial Day series against the Miami Marlins this week, but none need that change of scenery more than catcher Matt Wieters, manager Buck Showalter said.
"I think he's got to get out of the [Gulf Coast League]," Showalter said. "He's been a diligent rehab guy, almost to a fault. I think he needs to get out of there -- physically, mentally, and emotionally."
Rejoining the team in Miami for three days of work with bench coach John Russell is the last step for Wieters before he makes his rehab debut in affiliated ball. It will be his first game action outside of Florida since an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery cost him all but two months of 2014 and landed him on the disabled list to begin 2015.
"I think Matt wants to get with John [Russell] and get around the team, his teammates and get back in that environment," Showalter said. "I think it's a good progression for him, and I think that's what Matt wants to do, too."
Showalter estimated Wieters has had hundreds of at-bats in Florida in extended spring training games. While the jump in level of play to rookie-ball pitching to the Double-A arms he will face beginning Tuesday at Bowie will be big, Showalter said the continued focus will be on Wieters' arm and elbow health.
"He is in really good catching shape," Showalter said. "He's been challenged there, leg-wise. … It's just where he is with the arm, the elbow."
Showalter is still unsure whether Wieters will play every day in Bowie. Wieters is eligible to come off the disabled list on June 4.
Right-hander Kevin Gausman threw from 120 feet Thursday morning in his second throwing session since landing on the DL earlier this month with right shoulder tendinitis. He, too, will travel to Miami, where he will throw a bullpen session Saturday.
- Right-hander Bud Norris, who went on the DL retroactive to May 11 with bronchitis, is the only player with the team now who will not be going to Miami. Norris is scheduled to make a rehab start Friday with Triple-A Norfolk.
He's eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, though it's unclear when the team will need him next. Norris could be a candidate to pitch one half of Thursday's doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox.
- Infielder Ryan Flaherty, who went back on the DL with a nagging groin strain May 12, served as the designated hitter in an extended spring game in Fort Myers, Fla., against the Red Sox Thursday, and was scheduled for a day off Friday before playing the field Saturday, Showalter said.
"He may go to Norfolk Sunday or Monday," Showalter said. "[He'll] play two or three games there also, then see. Wednesday, [May] 27th is his eligibility date."
With Flaherty on the DL along with starting second baseman Jonathan Schoop and infielder Everth Cabrera, Steve Pearce and Rey Navarro have played second base.