The unusually high number of Tommy John surgeries that have wreaked havoc on pitching staffs already this season has now claimed a new victim: a catcher.
The Baltimore Orioles announced before the start of their series at Tampa Bay on June 16 that All-Star and Gold Glove catcher Matt Wieters will undergo ulnar collateral ligament replacement (Tommy John) surgery on his right elbow. Well-known orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews will perform the procedure at his office in north Florida. It’s expected that Wieters will need nine months of recovery time in order to be ready for the start of next season. Baltimore had set a July 1 deadline for deciding whether or not Wieters needed surgery.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Wieters had been trying to avoid surgery by going with the rest-and-rehab route. However, after having a good day of throwing, Showalter says Wieters’ elbow was sore the next day, and that was the indication to Orioles trainers that the injury was to the UCL. Wieters hadn’t played in a game since May 10, and hadn’t caught in a game since May 4. He’s been on the disabled list since May 11. Wieters believes he originally suffered the injury while making a throw to second base during a game in Boston in April. He was off to a great start prior to the injury, hitting .308 with five doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI.
The Orioles traded reliever Troy Patton to San Diego on May 24 for catcher Nick Hundley to add depth at catcher in case Wieters was going to be out for any significant length of time. Caleb Joseph is the backup catcher, and Steve Clevenger is also available at Triple-A Norfolk.
Dylan Bundy Makes First Rehab Start With Aberdeen
Dylan Bundy threw in a professional game for the first time since 2012.
Bundy allowed just a run in five innings on Father’s Day as the Aberdeen Ironbirds hosted the Hudson Valley Renegades in New York-Penn League action. After the game, Bundy wrote on his Twitter account “First outing in the books! Felt great!”
Bundy underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2012 season.
Gonzalez Set to Return From DL
Right-handed starter Miguel Gonzalez is scheduled to be activated from the DL and start the middle game of the series in Tampa Bay. When he’s activated, the Orioles will go to a six-man starting rotation. Showalter says any of the other starters could be asked to occasionally serve as long relievers out of the bullpen. He added that the rotation will be worked out in the coming days, and could be helped by the result of Manny Machado’s appeal of his five-game suspension. The appeal will be heard prior to the start of the Orioles’ series against the Yankees in New York.
By Andrew R. Koch
The Orioles gained a split of their series in Pittsburgh earlier this week, but that split came at a price that will create additional flux in Baltimore’s bullpen.
Prior to the start of their four-game holiday weekend series at home against the Cleveland Indians, the Orioles have placed closer Tommy Hunter on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin. The move was made retroactive to May 21. Hunter last pitched on May 20 in the first game of the short series in Pittsburgh, allowing two hits and striking out one in one inning. It was only his second appearance after blowing back-to-back saves at home against Houston and Detroit earlier this month. Hunter is 1-1 with a 9.39 earned-run average and 11 saves in 14 opportunities this season.
Hunter will be eligible to come off the DL on June 5. Baltimore has recalled right-handed pitcher Preston Guilmet from the Triple-A Norfolk Tides to take Hunter’s spot on the 25-man roster until then.
By Andrew R. Koch
The Maryland Terrapins baseball team isn’t ready to let their best season in more than 40 years end just yet.
Down 3-0 to Old Dominion after seven innings in their May 31 opener of the Columbia Regional at the University of South Carolina, Maryland started down the comeback trail. LaMonte Wade, Brandon Lowe and Jose Cuas all singled to load the bases with none out in the eighth inning. Wade scored on a double play grounder off the bat of Blake Schmit to cut the Monarchs’ lead to 3-1. After a leadoff single in the top of the ninth, Terrapins catcher Kevin Martir picked off the pinch runner at first. Reliever Tayler Stiles then struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Kyle Convissar came in as a pinch-hitter and led off with a double to left-center field. With one out, Martir reached on an error, and Convissar advanced to third. Center fielder Charlie White singled to drive in Convissar. Wade walked to load the bases, and then Lowe and Cuas were each hit by consecutive pitches to force in the tying and winning runs, giving Maryland a walk-off 4-3 win. It was the Terrapins’ first win in an NCAA baseball tournament game since 1970.
The following night, Maryland jumped out to a 4-0 lead over host South Carolina in the first two innings. White doubled to start the bottom of the first for the Terrapins, and scored on a one-out single by Lowe. In the second inning, Martir singled with two outs and advanced to second on an error. He went to third on an infield single by White, and then scored on a double by Wade. Wade and White then scored on a fielding error.
The Gamecocks got back into the game with a run in the fourth and two more runs in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Terps starter Mike Shawaryn hit South Carolina’s Tanner English with a pitch. English then stole second, and Shawaryn then walked Gamecocks shortstop Marcus Mooney. Bobby Ruse came on for Maryland in relief of Shawaryn, and got a fly-out and a ground-out to end the inning. In the eighth, South Carolina got runners on the corners with two outs, but Maryland reliever Kevin Mooney struck out Gene Cone to snuff out the rally. In the ninth, English and Max Schrock each singled to put runners on the corners with one out, but Kevin Mooney got Joey Pankake to ground into a double play to end the game, securing his 12th save of the season. With the win, Shawaryn improved to 11-3 on the season. The win snapped South Carolina’s 28-game home winning streak in the NCAA tournament, dating back to 2002.
Maryland will play the winner of the South Carolina-Campbell loser’s bracket game at 7 p.m. on June 1.
By Andrew R. Koch
The University of Maryland will be well-represented at the Men’s and Women’s Division I Lacrosse Final Fours Memorial Day weekend in the Baltimore area.
The seventh-seeded men’s team advanced to the Final Four by defeating Bryant University 16-8 on May 17 at Hofstra University. Mike Chanenchuk scored five goals and added four assists, becoming the first Terrapins player to score nine points in a game since 1979. Maryland scored four goals in the first 4:14 of the game, and held Bryant without a possession for nearly the first five minutes. Maryland will play sixth-seeded Notre Dame at 3:30 p.m. on May 24 at M&T Bank Stadium. The teams split their regular season Atlantic Coast Conference matchups, with Maryland winning at Notre Dame 12-8 on April 19. The Fighting Irish got their revenge six days later with a 6-5 win in College Park.
Things didn’t go so well for the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays at the University of Delaware on May 18. The Blue Jays fell behind 6-0 in the first quarter against number one Duke. Hopkins pulled to within 12-10 on a goal by Holden Cattoni with 9:16 left in the third quarter, but the Blue Devils pulled away from there on the way to a 19-11 win. Duke has reached the Final Four for the ninth straight year, and will play fifth-seeded Denver at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Cattoni and Rob Guida each scored three goals, while Connor Reed added a goal and four assists for Hopkins, which finishes the season with an 11-5 record.
In the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, top-seeded Maryland will be in the Final Four at Towson University over the holiday weekend. The Lady Terrapins defeated Duke 15-8 in College Park on Saturday to wrap up an undefeated season on their home field. Taylor Cummings led the way with five goals. Maryland is in the Final Four for the sixth straight year, and will play fifth-seeded Northwestern on May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the Towson campus. Northwestern reached the Final Four for the 10th straight year by defeating host and American Lacrosse Conference rival Florida 12-11 in overtime.
The other semifinal will pit second-seeded Syracuse against sixth-seeded Virginia. The start time for that game hasn’t yet been announced.
By Andrew R. Koch
After consecutive blown saves by Tommy Hunter against the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers, Orioles manager Buck Showalter has decided to shake things up a little in the Orioles bullpen.
The Orioles announced on May 16 that they’d agreed to a minor-league deal with veteran right-handed reliever Heath Bell. Pending a physical, Bell will report to the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. He began the season with division-rival Tampa Bay, where he was 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA in 13 games. Bell was designated for assignment by the Rays earlier this month, and was then released. Now in his 11th season, Bell has a career record of 38-32 with a 3.49 ERA and 168 career saves. The Orioles will have to pick up little, if any of Bell’s salary because he’s still being paid not just by the Rays, but also by the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks, whom he played for in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
In other roster moves, the Orioles designated right-handed reliever Evan Meek, and recalled another right-hander, Brad Brach, from Norfolk to take Meek’s spot on the 25-man roster. In 12 games this season, Meek was 0-1 with a 6.94 ERA.
This is Brach’s second stint with Baltimore this season. In his first stint, he appeared in two games, and allowed three earned runs in an inning and two-thirds. He went 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA and one save for the Tides. Showalter says the addition of Brach will provide the Orioles with another reliever who can pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen.
Bench coach John Russell managed the Orioles during the third game of their series in Kansas City. Manager Buck Showalter was on leave so he and his wife could attend their daughter’s graduation from law school in Dallas.
Right-hander and top Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy continues to progress in his rehab from Tommy John surgery last year. Bundy is scheduled to pitch an inning in an extended spring training game in Sarasota, Florida on May 20.
The Baltimore Ravens had a top-20 pick in this year’s NFL Draft for the first time in six years as a result of their disappointing 8-8 record last year. Their general manager, Ozzie Newsome, played his college football at the University of Alabama under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, and he went back to the proverbial well in Tuscaloosa to draft another defensive player.
The Ravens selected Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley with the 17th pick in the first round of the draft. Mosley was a two-time defensive captain for Nick Saban, and he had 108 total tackles (61 solo) last year. He was named a first-team All-American and first-team all-Southeastern Conference. Mosley was the winner of the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in major college football.
Baltimore took a pair of players from the national champion Florida State Seminoles with their next two picks: defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan in the second round (48th overall pick) and safety Terrence Brooks in the third round (75th overall.) Jernigan was an early entry into the draft, as he decided to leave Florida State following his junior season. He had 44 tackles and found and a half sacks last season. Brooks had 48 tackles, a sack and two interceptions. He posted a time of 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. With their second pick in the third round (99th overall pick), the Ravens selected tight end Crockett Gilmore of Colorado State. Gilmore caught 47 passes for 577 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Rams last season. It’s a good thing for the Ravens that he has very big hands (10.25 inches.)
In the fourth round, the Ravens took defensive tackle Brent Urban from the University of Virginia with the 134th overall pick, and four picks later, selected tailback Lorenzo Taliaferro out of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. Urban had 40 tackles and a sack for the Cavaliers last season, while Taliaferro ran for 1729 yards and 27 touchdowns for the Chanticleers. He added 153 yards and two touchdowns receiving out of the backfield. With their fifth-round pick, the Ravens selected guard John Urschel from Penn State. Quarterback Keith Wenning from Ball State was drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round, and in the seventh round, Baltimore used its final draft pick to select wide receiver Michael Campanaro out of Wake Forest. The Ravens got the pick by trading their sixth-round pick in next year’s draft to Cleveland.
In other draft news, the Chicago Bears selected cornerback Kyle Fuller of Virginia Tech with the 14th pick. Fuller went to high school at Mount St. Joseph in Southwest Baltimore. Last season, Fuller had 24 tackles and two interceptions. He is one of three Baltimore-area players who were drafted this year. The others are Campanaro (played at River Hill High School), and running back Terrance West (Towson University and Northwestern High School), who was taken by Cleveland in the third round. West ran for a Football Championship Subdivision-record 2,509 yards and 42 touchdowns as he helped lead the Tigers to a 13-3 record and the FCS Championship Game, where Towson lost to North Dakota State.