Orioles @ Astros lineups and pregame notes
Greetings from Minute Maid Park, where the Orioles will take on the Astros for the first of a four-game series.
*In case you missed it last night, catcher Matt Wieters will test his ailing right elbow by playing some light catch on Friday. It will mark the first time Wieters has thrown in more than three weeks, with a visit to noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews recommending he be shut down from anything that aggravates the injury.
“It’s gotten a lot better over the last few days, which is what we were waiting on. Waiting for it all to subside and it’s all gotten out,” Wieters said. “Now it’s just a matter of going through the throwing progression and hopefully everything keeps getting better.
Wieters last played in a game on May 10. He has not caught a game since May 4 with the initial hope being that he could just serve at designated hitter. Since his elbow didn’t respond as hoped serving at DH, he was placed on the DL and has rested and gotten a platelet-rich plasma injection in the area to help spur healing.
Wieters said the big thing right now is to get him back on a throwing program and wasn’t sure what the exact plan would be like tomorrow in terms of distance and how many throws. But the All-Star, who is hoping to avoid surgery, is still encouraged that he’s gotten to this point.
“We always had days sort of around, we wanted to make sure we were progressing more than anything,” Wieters said. “Every time you can take the next step forward it’s good. Picking up the ball is our next step forward now.”
*Tommy Hunter continues to progress back from a groin strain and he could be activated the first day he’s eligible off the disabled list, which is June 5.
“[Assistant athletic trainer] Brian [Ebel] is going back for his son’s graduation and he’s going to pick up Tommy’s rehab a little bit there,” manager Buck Showalter said Thursday.
“Tommy’s been on flat ground for, I think now, four days. He feels good. I’m going to let Brian kind of handle that once he gets there about when he might go pitch some. But that’s progressing well. I think it’s June 5 or 6. He’s got a shot at that.”
*Nelson Cruz leads the majors with 19 homers & has set a May club record with 12, passing Jim Gentile (1962) and Eddie Murray (’87). Each hit 11.
*The O’s lead the majors with a .988 fielding percentage and are tied with Cincinnati for fewest errors committed this season (23).
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Nelson Cruz DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Manny Machado 3B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Nick Hundley C
Ubaldo Jimenez RHP
Jose Altuve 2B
George Springer RF
Dexter Fowler CF
Jason Castro C
Matt Dominguez 3B
Chris Carter 1B
Alex Presley LF
Robbie Grossman DH
Jonathan Villar 6
Brad Peacock RHP