MIAMI -- Matt Wieters will spend the weekend with the Orioles at Marlins Park, and if things go well, he could start a rehab assignment next week in Bowie.
Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery last June 17, played in one Grapefruit League game on March 17 and has been rehabbing the elbow since in Sarasota, Fla.
“It’s actually been getting stronger each day I play and the day in-between, the day off, has been big, to still get the rest and recover. But each day that I do play, every other day, I feel like it gets a little stronger each time,” Wieters said.
The plan for now is for Wieters to play every other day in his minor league rehab and to do that, at least initially with the Orioles. He’s eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on June 4, and he thinks that day is realistic.
“I think so. I feel, like I said, I feel pretty good to play. The last few games I’ve gone out there and played, the feelings of being able to get back in a big league game are there. It’s not quite back to where it was yet, but it feels good enough to get back playing at this level,” Wieters said.
He isn’t sure when he’ll be able to play consecutive games.
“It’d be more, let the arm tell me when. The thing is, catching every other day you can still catch three days a week. When we’ve tried to push that back-to-back we’ve had to take a few more days off after that than we want to. I think if we let the arm just tell us, ‘OK, let’s try throwing today,’ and then it will be a progression from there,” Wieters said.
“I think Bowie is at home next week, so I think I’ll play there every other day and playing there I’ll actually get to come back and watch the games at Camden on the days I’m not playing.”
While Wieters is here, he’ll get to watch the games live as he did earlier this month at Tropicana Field when the Orioles played Tampa Bay.
“Here, it’s just kind of keep the same thing. It won’t be catching in a game obviously, but I’ll throw tomorrow because tomorrow will be my throw day. Do my hitting. Catch some bullpens while I’m here and try to get back familiar with these guys,” Wieters said.
Wieters hasn’t played in a game since May 10, 2014 and hasn’t caught since six days before then.
“It’s tough, but Caleb has been doing a great job, been able to watch what he’s doing behind the plate. And on top of that my arm will let me know when I’m ready and it feels good now. It feels like OK now we can really think about getting back into some games,” Wieters said.
Wieters said he’s feeling strong hitting in extended spring training games.
“I’ve been swinging every day and hitting, there is no feeling of any kind of doubt with it when I’m swinging. And, really, throwing there’s no doubt. It’s just a matter of when I do throw I do need to take a little bit of time off the next day to feel good the (following) day,” Wieters said.
MORE ORIOLES: MLB Power Rankings: Marlins falling, Phillies rising