Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery this morning in Florida.
According the MLB.com, Wieters, 28, underwent the procedure earlier today performed by Dr James Andrews in Gulf Breeze. The first-choice catcher, who was drafted by the O’s in 2009, will need a nine-month recovery leave and should return mid-March in 2015.
Baltimore’s loss is a huge blow for the team who sit on a 35-34 season record and are third in the American League East division. The O’s have relied on Wieters as their first-choice catcher over the past five seasons and the 28-year-old has appeared in MLB for Baltimore 683 times.
Wieters had been placed on the disabled list indefinitely since May 10 and it was only the second time the catcher had ever been on the disabled list in his five years in MLB. He had been complaining of discomfort in his right elbow since May 4 during the game against Minnesota Twins but wasn't ruled out until six days later when the pain got worse against the Houston Astros.
A vast number of pitchers have been forced to undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery this season, but Wieters is the first catcher to need the surgery.
Wieters will begin his rehabilitation and physiotherapy in Atlanta, where he lives during the offseason. The catcher will also make regular trips to Baltimore so the club can assess his recovery. The catcher is a valuable player to the O’s after the two-time All-Star (2010 and 2012) was awarded with the Golden Glove in 2010 and 2012.
The injury will be a disappointment for Wieters after the catcher had his best start to a season with the bat. When Wieters was placed on the disabled list he was top of the O’s clubhouse with a .308 batting average and had 18 RBIs to his name.
The catcher will need to rebuild his right elbow and come back stronger in 2015 to finish what he had begun this year.
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