Wieters set to see Dr. Andrews for sore elbow
Following MRI, Orioles catcher serves as DH for series opener vs. Rays
ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters had an MRI on his right elbow on Monday and will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday about nagging soreness.
"He's been getting it treated for a while, we just want to make sure we know what we're dealing with," manager Buck Showalter said of Wieters, who served as the designated hitter in Tuesday's 5-3 win over the Rays. "He's going to fly in and out tomorrow. He will be back for the game. He's got an early flight to Pensacola, Fla., and back."
Wieters missed a game in Toronto two weeks ago with what he described as right forearm soreness, a common precursor to elbow injuries, but was back in the lineup the following day. Wieters said he first felt that discomfort throwing to second base during one of the team's cold night games in Boston last month, but he played regularly following the game.
Showalter didn't offer any specifics on the MRI, just that the club wanted to have Andrews -- noted orthopedic surgeon -- look at Wieters now that they had those results. Wieters declined to speak with the media until after Wednesday's appointment.
"We are on the road and Pensacola is just around the corner, so to speak," Showalter said. "Unfortunately, he's got to go through Charlotte (N.C.) to get there. Go figure. But he's coming back on a direct flight. And hopefully, he's catching for us tomorrow. Until we got our arms around it, I didn't want to play him [behind the plate on Tuesday]. Plus, I didn't want Stevie [Clevenger] to sit five straight days."
While Clevenger has fared well as the backup, any loss of Wieters for a significant amount of time would be a huge blow to the Orioles. He is batting .341 with five homers and 18 RBIs, second only on the O's to Nelson Cruz, and entered Tuesday leading American League catchers in batting average, homers and slugging percentage (.570).
It also appears the O's may have already made contingency plans with Triple-A Norfolk's catcher Caleb Joseph scratched from Tuesday's starting lineup. The Orioles outrighted infielder David Adams to Double-A Bowie over the weekend, putting their 40-man roster at 39 so they could add a player without a corresponding move.
Santana shows good velocity in spring game
ST. PETERSBURG -- Johan Santana, who threw two innings in an extended spring game on Monday, had a fastball that averaged 88 mph and Orioles manager Buck Showalter -- who was on hand to watch -- said that's similar to what he was throwing for his big league no-hitter.
Santana, who paired that with a 76-mph changeup, made his extended spring debut against the Twins and will throw again on Saturday as the veteran lefty moves closer and closer to being an option for the Orioles.
"Scotty was telling me, McGregor, that he's never seen a guy that can simulate game conditions on a side day like him ... he really gets something out of it," Showalter said of Santana, who has been on a five-day rotation in his rehab. "Regardless of if he pitches for us, he's been such a great influence on those guys."
Santana reported on Tuesday to be feeling good, which is a positive sign as a big part of his rehab in how he recovers. Signed to a Minor League deal by the O's in the offseason, Santana could be a rotation option by June.
Davis starts hitting, throwing in rehab process
ST. PETERSBURG -- First baseman Chris Davis continues to progress ahead of schedule, although the Orioles slugger -- eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday -- is not expected to be ready to play by then.
"He's in a good spot in the process comparatively speaking," manager Buck Showalter said of Davis, who took 25 swings in the batting cages and 30 throws out on the field.
"Obviously, he's going to need some at-bats, but not a lot. Probably two or three days tops. I know he's eligible the 11th, but I still see that as a long shot. Don't hold me to it."
The throwing and hitting were the first Davis has done since sustaining the left oblique strain, and he will begin fielding in the next few days, traveling north with the team instead of staying at extended spring for rehab.
"His wife is so close to giving birth, we'll take him back with us," Showalter said. "There's nothing we can't do in Baltimore that they are going to do here."
O's recall McFarland for added bullpen depth
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Orioles recalled lefty T.J. McFarland prior to Tuesday's game against the Rays, while right-hander Brad Brach was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to clear a roster spot.
The move comes following Monday's off-day, but the O's are facing a stretch of 26 games in 27 days and McFarland -- scratched from Monday's Triple-A start -- gives them a multi-inning guy.
"Having some length in our bullpen," Showalter said. "Where our bullpen is constituted, we didn't have any length. Especially 13 days in a row [with a game]."
This will be McFarland's second stint with the Orioles this season, as he was optioned on April 25. Brach appeared in two games, allowing three runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
• Orioles prospect Kevin Gausman, who is on the Minor League disabled list with pneumonia, will start for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday. Gausman threw a side session on Tuesday and is feeling much better, and he will throw one more before Saturday's outing vs. Indianapolis.
• Dylan Bundy, the O's top prospect, according to MLB.com, threw an impressive bullpen on Monday in extended spring and is nearing pitching in games. Nolan Reimold (neck) had five at-bats in extended spring on Tuesday, while Francisco Peguero (wrist) had four.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.