Wieters could catch in intrasquad games

SARASOTA, Fla.— Matt Wieters could catch in an Orioles intrasquad game this spring -on March 1 and 2— as the backstop has been cleared to do everything but thrown full-throttle to the bases.

“We control that,” manager Buck Showalter said of the run game during the team’s intrasquad matchups. “I don’t want to get to the 17th [of March] and have him catch three innings the first time. I want him to catch, five, six, seven out of the chute. We can do that. We can handle it. Whether it’s a ‘B’ game, intrasquad…we could find games left and right.”

Showalter said he probably wouldn’t take Wieters to the Orioles first spring game in Lakeland, Fla., but —coming off Tommy John surgery in June— Wieters’ legs are built up a lot earlier than they usually are in camp.

“He can throw the ball back to the pitcher [in a game],” Showalter said. “He wants to throw on bunt defense. What he’s doing out here right now [on the back fields] he can do in a game.”

Wieters isn’t cleared to throw full-throttle until March 17, a cautious deadline that Showalter expects will make Wieters pretty anxious when the time finally comes. Wieters, and third baseman Manny Machado, are expected to get a lot of at-bats this spring as they are both coming off season-ending surgeries.

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