"I think now that opening day has kind of come and gone and passed, it's not a matter of a date," Wieters said. "It's more when it's ready and I think that's the thing that's probably a little bit easier for me than trying to say, 'OK, we have to be ready by here or we have to be ready by here.'
"I want to be ready as quick as possible and where I feel like once I start playing, I'm going to be able to keep improving and we're not going to have any issues throughout the course of the year, then I'll be confident," Wieters said.
Wieters is returning from Tommy John surgery last June, but suffered a setback and was shut down from catching duties -- at least for 10 days -- on March 18. Caleb Joseph is expected to open the season as the team's primary backstop in place of Wieters.
The team's internal options include Ryan Lavarnway,
"I think everybody that we're considering has some track record of being able to do some things offensively with the exception of Brian Ward," Showalter said. "There's not a big offensive track record behind him. Lavarnway may have as good if not better numbers than all of them in the Minor Leagues if you really look at them. So I think we've got the potential to get both of that, but the first criteria that they have to satisfy is the defensive part of it."
Wieters is returning from Tommy John surgery last June, and Showalter said he is "unlikely" to be ready by the start of the season.
Wieters made his spring debut at catcher on Wednesday and then was shut down for a week the following day.
“This is usually a 10-month thing at least, especially with catchers," Showalter said of the recovery process. "You’re hearing people go down with this and you are talking 12 to 14 months. We’re on if not ahead of schedule. A lot of people when it originally happened thought even May 1 was a push."
Showalter said that using Wieters as a DH to start the season wasn't an option, because that "doesn’t help his rehab."
Wieters was shut down from catching after experiencing elbow tendinitis following his first appearance at catcher Tuesday. He was sent for X-rays on Thursday, which came back negative.
Wieters said it is not a total shut down, as he is still throwing and doing maintenance work. He said the goal is not to have a setback coming off Tommy John surgery.
“It wasn’t really a different feeling, it was more of just kind of fatigue that I’ve been feeling throughout the whole time and we just pushed through," Wieters said, per MLB.com. "And it wasn’t a matter of hurting it, it was just a matter of it being able to be healthy and strong as quick as possible. We thought rest would be useful. We don’t really see it as a setback, we just needed to slow things down a little bit instead of trying to force through everything.”
Wieters was hoping to DH on Sunday, but manager Buck Showalter said he will not play until Wednesday at the earliest, per The Baltimore Sun.
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