Wieters slated to make debut Friday

BALTIMORE—Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is slated to make his season debut on Friday in Cleveland, as the All-Star backstop makes his first Major League appearance in more than a year.

Wieters, who has been rehabbing back from June’s Tommy John surgery, started his rehab assignment earlier this week and has been catching every other day. That will also be the plan, at least initially, when he rejoins Baltimore as Wieters works through the last bit of soreness on days between starts.

O’s manager Buck Showalter said he spoke with Wieters and got a good idea of where the catcher will be physically when he returns.

“Say the second catcher [starting in a game] we want to pinch-hit or pinch-run for, Matt will be OK to finish that game,” Showalter said. “His physical status will not require us to carry three catchers unless we want to.”

Wieters, who last caught for the O’s on May 4, 2014 will play for Double-A on Saturday, Class-A Frederick on Monday and Triple-A on Wednesday. He will travel Thursday to meet the team in Cleveland and is expected to start Friday’s series opener.

Right now, the O’s have two catchers on the roster in Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger. Joseph was the O’s Opening Day catcher and figures to split duties while Wieters is worked back in.

Closely monitored this spring, the Orioles were optimistic that Wieters could be ready by the season’s opener. But the catcher felt soreness in his first spring start, on March 17, and was subsequently shut down. He has been brought along slowly since then and spent the majority of the past two months in extended spring before Tuesday’s rehab debut.

Os vs. White Sox doubleheader

Greetings from Camden Yards where the O’s, originally slated for an off day, will play two against the White Sox instead. The straight-through doubleheader starts at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Tyler Wilson will make his first career big league start in Game 1, followed by rookie Mike Wright in Game 2. Here are your Game 1 lineups….

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Caleb Joseph C
Everth Cabrera 2B

Tyler Wilson RHP

WHITE SOX LINEUP

Adam Eaton CF
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Abreu 1B
Adam LaRoche DH
Alexei Ramirez SS
J.B. Shuck RF
Gordon Beckham 3B
Tyler Flowers C
Carlos Sanchez 2B

Chris Sale LHP

Os sign Miranda

BALTIMORE— The Orioles officially announced the signing of Cuban left-hander Ariel Miranda on Wednesday, with Miranda introduced along with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.

The 25-year-old Miranda pitched professionally in Cuba from 2007-13, posting a 22-25 record, 3.78 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 80 appearances (64 starts). He has struck out 274 batters and walked 151 in 386 innings and could help the Orioles as early as later this season.

“He’s got good experience, good stuff and all the ingredients to be a very capable Major League pitcher,” Duquette said.

Miranda will head to Florida to get in shape and then play for an affiliate, either Class-A Frederick or Double-A Bowie, to start his professional career. Asked to compared himself to a current player, Miranda —through an interpreter— said he’s like Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia but “more athletic”, a comment that drew laughs from the assembled group.

“I was told that the Orioles have one of the best pitching coaches [Dave Wallace] in the business and a great Minor League system,” Miranda said. “For me, it will be a great opportunity to play and help the Major League team as soon as possible.”

Cuba’s baseball seasons are different than MLB so Miranda last played in 2014 and has been working out in the Dominican Republic as well as the U.S. throwing bullpens and live batting practice sessions. Duquette didn’t get into specifics in terms of a signing bonus but said that Miranda—who signed a Double-A contract— got a deal that was on par with what the organization has given to other Cuban players like Dariel Alvarez and Henry Urrutia.

Orioles vs. Astros, De Aza DFA’ed

The Orioles reinstated infielder Ryan Flaherty from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday and, to clear a roster spot, designated outfielder Alejandro De Aza for assignment.

Baltimore will now have 10 days to trade, release or outright De Aza. The 31-year-old batted .214/.277/.359 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 30 games with the Orioles this season.

The news is a bit of a surprise considering infielder Everth Cabrera has options remaining. But with Flaherty coming back from the DL and the recent back issue with shortstop J.J. Hardy, the Orioles want to be able to cover themselves in the infield.

Flaherty, 28, appeared in two rehab games with Triple-A Norfolk, going 0-for-5 with three walks, two RBIs, and a run scored. He was placed on the DL for the second time this season on May 12 with a right groin strain that he had re-tweaked.

*Tyler Wilson will start Game 1 of Thursday’s doubleheader with Mike Wright Game 2. The O’s can recall Wilson because they are allowed to have a 26th man for the straight through DH. The typical rule, of having a guy stay at least 10 days in the Minors unless it’s an injury, doesn’t apply in this case.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Travis Snider LF
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

Orioles @ Astros, Clevenger recalled

The Orioles have recalled catcher Steve Clevenger from Triple-A Norfolk and designated catcher Ryan Lavarnway for assignment. Clevenger, 29, appeared in 35 games with the O’s last season, batting .225 with eight doubles, a triple and eight RBIs. In 27 games this season with Norfolk, he has hit .352 with three doubles, two home runs and 14 RBIs. Larvanway made the club this spring as a non-roster invitee.

*The Orioles got good news on one of their top pitching prospects, Dylan Bundy, on Tuesday as the right-hander —who was shut down with tendinitis, was ruled to not have any structural damage in his shoulder.

O’s manager Buck Showalter said Bundy won’t need an MRI or any other tests, though he will take some time off. Bundy was originally slated to start for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday but was scratched. The Orioles are being ultra-cautious with the 22-year-old Bundy who had Tommy John surgery in June 2013.

Bundy has not gone more than four innings in any outing this year and is 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA in eight starts. In 22 innings, he has allowed nine earned runs with 25 strikeouts and five walks.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce 2B
Delmon Young RF
J.J. Hardy SS
David Lough LF
Caleb Joseph C

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles vs. Mariners Game 3

Greetings from a cold and rainy Camden Yards, where the O’s and Mariners hope to get this game in without interruption.

Not a whole lot of pregame news, but the expectation is Everth Cabrera will be activated off the disabled on Friday in Miami.  Matt Wieters and Kevin Gausman will continue their respective rehabs in Miami over the weekend as well. Ryan Flaherty, who has been playing down in extended spring, is set to  report to Triple-A Norfolk Sunday or Monday for a few games.

*Brian Matusz will serve as the race ambassador when the Orioles and OriolesREACH partner again with the Casey Cares Foundation to host the sixth annual Casey Cares 5K Run/Walk at Camden Yards on Saturday, August 1

For the past several years, Matusz has visited Casey Cares patients at local hospitals and attended Casey Cares Extra Innings Events, helping critically-ill children and their family learn how to play baseball alongside other Orioles players. The relief pitcher also hosts Casey Cares patients at the ballpark, letting the children experience batting practice, tour the clubhouse and meet players. The race/walk will begin at 8 a.m. and will begin at Oriole Park and end on the field. Top race winners will be announced in a pre-game ceremony that night in the Orioles 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Tigers.

Registration for the race is open now through August 1, and both teams and individuals are encouraged to register. Entry fees are $30 per person through June 8, $35 per person through August 1, or $40 on race day. To register, visit www.orioles.com/caseycares.

MARINERS LINEUP

Seth Smith RF
Brad Miller LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Welington Castillo C
Logan Morrison 1B
Dustin Ackley CF
Chris Taylor SS

J.A. Happ LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Alejandro De Aza LF
Ryan Lavarnway C

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles vs. Mariners

MARINERS LINEUP

Rickie Weeks DH
Willie Bloomquist LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Nelson Cruz RF
Kyle Seager 3B
Justin Ruggiano CF
Logan Morrison 1B
Mike Zunino C
Chris Taylor SS

Roenis Elias LHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Caleb Joseph C
Rey Navarro 2B

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Orioles vs. Mariners

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the O’s will take on Seattle in a three-game series that doubles as the return of Nelson Cruz. I’ll have more from Cruz later.

Lots of injury updates today, including catcher Matt Wieters who will join the team in Miami this weekend to continue his rehab. Wieters will start his rehab assignment for Double-A Bowie next Tuesday and the plan remains for him to join the O’s on June 4. He has still been catching every other day in extended spring.

Kevin Gausman threw 25 times from 60 feet today and will throw from 90 feet on Thursday. He will also go to Miami and will throw batting practice on Saturday in Miami.

Bud Norris, who has been sick and was placed on the disabled list yesterday, will throw for Triple-A Norfolk on the 22nd. The plan is for him to rejoin the rotation after that.

Tyler Wilson, who is here in place of Norris, will be a bullpen option for now although the team still thinks of him long term as a starter.

Orioles vs. Blue Jays lineup and pregame notes

Greetings from Camden Yards, where the Orioles will take on the Blue Jays for the second game in a three-game set.

The big pregame news is catcher Matt Wieters, who caught nine innings today, is targeting being ready to re-join the team when eligible on June 4. Wieters, who was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Sunday, has yet to catch back-to-back games in extended spring and manager Buck Showalter said today that the club could get Wieters back behind the plate on an every other day basis at first.

As Showalter pointed out, some Wieters is better than none, and Caleb Joseph has played well in his absence. Wieters will definitely be eased in regardless of how frequently he’s able to play when he goes out on rehab assignment as it’s a different speed in the Major Leagues. Speaking of rehab assignments, Wieters could go on one next week. He’s slated to catch nine innings again on Thursday and Saturday and the team hopes he can catch consecutive games before sending him out on rehab.

There’s no word yet on if the O’s will make a roster move but Rey Navarro is here and they are waiting on Ryan Flaherty’s MRI results to be read by a team doctor before determining if he’s going to go back on the DL with a groin injury.

Speaking of MRIs, Kevin Gausman’s came back clean on his right shoulder today and he hopes to resume throwing by the end of the week. The O’s, who plan to have Gausman start at Triple-A Norfolk, are targeting for him to return shortly after his 15-day DL period is up.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Travis Snider LF
Caleb Joseph C

Chris Tillman RHP

Orioles at Yankees Game 4

Happy Mother’s Day to all. In honor of the holiday, right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez reflected on how glad he is that his mother put education first and you can read that story (with an old school picture) here.

Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will get an MRI on his right shoulder on Tuesday and will see team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs when the team starts a homestand on Monday. Gausman, who went on the disabled list on Friday with tendinitis, has been on anti-inflammatory medication and reported to feel better today. The team just wants to make sure they know what they are dealing with.

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will catch eight innings in extended spring on Tuesday, followed by nine innings on Thursday and Saturday. The next step is to get him to go back-to-back.

“Once we get through the back-to-back he might head out somewhere, but that’s still a ways away,” manager Buck Showalter said of Wieters, who is coming back from June’s Tommy John surgery.

Everth Cabrera could begin his rehab assignment on Thursday for Double-A Bowie while Jonathan Schoop could begin baseball activities at some point next week.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Alejandro De Aza LF
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty 2B

Bud Norris RHP

YANKEES LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

Michael Pineda RHP

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