Orioles beat writer Jon Meoli talks about catcher Matt Wieters and the results of the MRI on his elbow. (Baltimore Sun video)
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said the pain that shot through his surgically repaired elbow while making a throw in Saturday's exhibition game scared him, but he is relieved that the MRI showed no serious damage.
"Today's better than yesterday and yesterday was better than the day before, so that's the goal to just keep improving. We're on the right track," Wieters said Tuesday morning.
The clean MRI is an indication that Wieters might just have some normal spring training inflammation, but after two years of working his way back from Tommy John elbow reconstruction, it's hard to treat anything in that area as routine.
"It was just something that turned into soreness that I needed to get taken care, just like anything would have," he said. "We would like [to think] this was just a sore elbow; whether or not I had surgery or not, it's just a sore elbow."
The plan is for Wieters to continue getting treatment on the elbow until all of the soreness is gone, then take a few days of strength work before starting to throw again.
Wieters was asked if it was a scary moment when he first felt the pain that forced him out of Saturday's game against the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium.
"It was," he said. "It was frustrating because you work so hard, but then when I was driving home the other night I kind of realized the expectations are that it could happen to anybody at any time. So we've just got to be able to go out there and have my mind free and clear to be able to play."
Before Tuesday's game in Dunedin against the Blue Jays, manager Buck Showalter said his plan would be "similar" to how they hoped to use Wieters in their best-case scenario for this season, "but with the caution that we always try to take with catchers — especially with such a demanding position."
"We're lucky to have [backup catcher Caleb Joseph]," Showalter said. "We're going to take each, I think, instead of taking each week as it comes, it might be every three or four days as it comes. But both of the guys will know."