Matt Wieters - Baltimore Orioles catcher

It looks like Matt Wieters will start the 2015 season on the disabled list. The Orioles beat writers collectively tweeted the news as it was delivered by skipper Buck Showalter:

While it may appear that this is a setback in Wieters’ recovery from Tommy John surgery, that’s not necessarily the case. For pitchers, TJ is typically a 12 month recovery. For position players it varies — we’ve seen anywhere from 9-12 months.

As a catcher, I’d assume (as a non-doctor/non-expert on just about everything) that the timetable would more closely resemble that of a pitcher. Wieters has to throw the ball back to the mound after every pitch (not as hard as he can, obviously) and is required to fire balls to the bases to hold runners.

Wieters had surgery on June 17, 2014, and I have to admit I was a bit surprised to see him back behind the plate just nine months after paying a visit to Dr. James Andrews. I was less surprised to hear the elbow tendinitis that he was dealing with after catching earlier in the week.

The Orioles will opt not to use Wieters as a designated hitter. He would be eligible to return off the DL on April 11. As my BSRN brethren at Birds Eye View point out, the O’s will be just fine without Wieters while he recovers:

Of course, it’s important to remember that the Orioles won 96 games and the AL East without Wieters for most of last season.