It's time once again for another edition of Orioles101 Mailbag and this week both Matt Wieters and David Lough were the most frequent topics of questions, with a Minor League question that we felt we had to answer.
As we have mentioned over the past few weeks, the mailbag has been so popular among our followers and readers, we are going to continue to have this be a weekly segment. Also, we consistently get multiple questions on the same topic, so we answer all of them with one general answer, as opposed to answering each one individually and repeating ourselves.
Let's get to this week's questions.
What's the update on Matt Wieters and what is a realistic timetable for his return?
Wieters was easily the most frequent topic regarding questions we received this week. Wieters got a plasma injection in his elbow earlier in the week, which is the same thing Chris Davis received when he was dealing with his oblique issue and it seemed to really help him, but only time will tell how it will help Matt with his elbow. It's pretty apparent that the Baltimore Orioles honestly believe that he has a legitimate chance at avoiding Tommy John surgery or they would have just gone ahead and had him get it. It would serve no one any good to delay the surgery if they know he will need it.
As of now, rest is the continued to prescription for Wieters, and he is still catching bullpens (without throwing) in order to keep his legs in shape. We know that he is not going to come off the DL when he is eligible to return this week, and we realistically believe that the beginning of July is probably a good timetable for his return, but that is all speculation, as only Wieters and his elbow will know when he can return.
Will the Orioles look to add a catcher?
Baltimore has made it no secret that they are more than willing to try and acquire another catcher, so the easy answer is yes, because they already are. Caleb Joseph has performed well defensively behind the plate, but has yet to get the bat going after having a monster year with AA Bowie last season. Steve Clevenger has been performing fairly well at the plate, but has not been that great defensively, and has struggled to throw out baserunners. The longer the Orioles go without Wieters, the more likely it becomes that Baltimore could acquire a catcher.
How long will the Orioles keep David Lough on the roster?
Lough has been a disappointment thus far, and we believe even he would tell you that he is disappointed in the way he has played thus far this season. His bat has been ice cold and his biggest offensive threat, his legs, are not a threat unless he can get on base. Having said that, you saw on Thursday Night what he can bring defensively to this team, so it is not as though he has no value to this team, but an interesting thing is that Francisco Peguero is performing very well on his rehab assignment with the AAA Norfolk Tides, and the Orioles will have a tough decision once his rehab assignment is complete.
Who would be the next pitcher in line in the Minor Leagues to get a start for the Orioles?
This was the Minor League question we had to answer and it's because it is almost an impossible question to answer. Obviously the easy answer is Kevin Gausman, as he has already received a spot start with the big league club, but it was evident that he needs to get some more starts at the AAA level to build his confidence. Johan Santana will get one more extended spring training start before beginning with an affiliate and if you want our honest answer, we could see Santana being the next guy not currently on the big league club to get a shot at starting.
The bigger issue here, is that there is not a current starter in the rotation that is struggling enough to justify moving him out of the rotation, so no matter who is lighting it up in the minors, we cannot see any of the current guys getting booted from the rotation anyway.
We want to thank everyone for their questions this week and continue to urge everyone to keep sending in questions!
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