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Orioles notes: Wieters getting X-rays, Lough dealing with hamstring issues, latest on Cuba from MLBPA's Tony Clark

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters was scheduled to have precautionary X-rays taken before Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Pittsburgh Pirates as Ed Smith Stadium.

On Wednesday, the Orioles shut Wieters down from catching activities for approximately a week because of right elbow tendinitis, a move that came a day after Wieters caught his first Grapefruit League game.

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"Just making sure everything's structurally right," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Thursday.

Showalter said Wieters told him his arm was feeling better.

"He actually said he felt good today. He was in and out quickly," Showalter said.

Showalter also said that outfielder David Lough is close to returning from hamstring tightness.

Lough has played just one game since Saturday, going 1-for-3 against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday. He is just 4-for-21 this spring.

"He would have played [if this were] during the season," Showalter said. "We've just backed off it a little bit a few games to make sure we clear it up. It's just a little knotty in there."

Infielder Ryan Flaherty is backing in the starting lineup Thursday, batting ninth and starting at second base, two days after he was hit in the helmet by a pitch.

Flaherty had to pass a series of concussion tests and did not make the trip to Fort Myers Wednesday.

Outfielder Alejandro De Aza was given permission to leave the club so he could go back to the Dominican Republic for his grandfather's 99th birthday. He will return Friday.

Showalter said that right-hander Jason Garcia (left hamstring tightness) and right-hander Ryan Webb (left knee swelling) have thrown multiple bullpen sessions and are expected to return to games sometimes this weekend.

Wei-Yin Chen and Kevin Gausman will make their next starts Friday in minor league games, and they will likely pitch in separate games down at Twin Lakes Park. Chen is looking to reach the five-inning mark, while Gausman will likely go four.

Thursday morning, the Orioles had their annual spring training players union meeting. Union President Tony Clark met with the media after the meeting.

Clark said there is discussion about playing an exhibition game in Cuba next spring training, but he indicated that it's too late to try to plan a game for this spring.

"I think the obstacles everyone knows," Clark said. "And I say everyone knows to the extent that we don't even know what all the obstacles are. I know that logic sounds kind of convoluted. But where we were three months ago is a lot different than where we might be three months from now. Although there appeared to be some restrictions and some developments from the standpoint of it opening up and possibilities being there, which led to a lot of the dialogue this spring training about there being an opportunity to go play, I think this club was the last club …to have played over there.

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"Is it possible? Sure it's possible. But the landscape we may be trying to navigate even later this year in preparation for '16 will be different than it is as we sit here right now. But I can tell you everyone is paying attention with a lot of interest, not just because of the talent coming from Cuba, but because of the possibilities that exist above and beyond what they've been for a long time."

Here are the lineups for Thursday's game:

Orioles
Manny Machado 3B
Travis Snider RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Delmon Young DH
Steve Clevenger C
J.J. Hardy SS
Jimmy Paredes LF
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles available pitchers
Brad Brach RHP
Tommy Hunter RHP
Darren O’Day RHP
Steve Johnson RHP
Chaz Roe RHP
Mike Wright RHP
Jesse Beal RHP*
Jon Keller RHP*

*Minor league camp pitchers

Pirates
Jeff Decker CF
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Gregory Polanco RF
Corey Hart DH
Jordy Mercer SS
Sean Rodriguez 1B
Elias Diaz C
Pedro Florimon 3B
Gorkys Hernandez 3B
Radhames Liz RHP

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