Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is expected to visit Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday after soreness in his right elbow prompted fear within the organization of a potential tear to his ulnar collateral ligament, major league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Orioles are hoping for the best with the 27-year-old Wieters, who is in the midst of a breakout season, hitting .337/.372/.570 with five home runs and 18 RBIs. The two-time Gold Glove winner is considered one of the best defensive catchers in the major leagues as well.
Wieters, who was in the lineup at designated hitter on Tuesday night against Tampa Bay, missed a recent game because of what was deemed forearm soreness – often a code for elbow troubles.
Should an examination show a UCL tear, Wieters would need Tommy John surgery and would miss the rest of the season. While position players' recoveries from Tommy John are often faster than pitchers', it puts Wieters' future in question at a particularly important time for Baltimore.
Because Wieters is unlikely to sign a long-term contract, the Orioles were expected to look into potentially trading Wieters sometime before he hits free agency following the 2015 season. Any serious elbow injury could complicate such plans.
Anything short of a UCL tear would be a win for both Wieters and the Orioles, who entered the night tied for first in the American League East at 15-14.
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