Teagarden might not be ready for Opening Day due to back trouble

March 14, 2012|By Dan Connolly

Catcher Taylor Teagarden underwent an epidural injection in his lower back this morning and his chances of being ready by Opening Day is “in jeopardy,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter during his pre-game meeting with the media on Wednesday.

Teagarden has been dealing with back issues and saw a specialist on Tuesday. He has been diagnosed with a slight tear of the ligament that supports the disk in his back. He will be rest for three days, and if all goes well he’ll be able to begin hydrotherapy and spine stability treatment. The injury is not considered serious, and the timetable for a return is roughly three weeks.

But since he has had just five at-bats this spring, that likely means he won’t be ready for Opening Day, but Showalter is hopeful Teagarden will be back soon thereafter.

**Ronny Paulino, who will play four innings at catcher today and will start on Thursday, likely will be Matt Wieters’ backup to start the season if Teagarden is sidelined.

**Zach Britton will likely pitch four innings Thursday in a minor-league game at Twin Lakes Park and Tommy Hunter will pitch the next day in the minor league game.

**Nolan Reimold’s pregnant wife will be induced on Friday and he’ll join the team Sunday in Orlando, for a game against the Atlanta Braves.

**Showalter, his staff and executive vice president Dan Duquette met with umpires’ representatives on Tuesday to discuss new on-field changes. The one that stood out to Showalter is that teams can no longer send a pitcher to the mound to start the ninth inning, without that pitcher facing at least one batter.

**Tsuyoshi Wada (elbow) threw 33 pitches in a simulated game on the back field Wednesday. He faced several hitters including Jai Miller and Brady Anderson. Wada said his goal is still to win an Opening Day rotation spot, though that is probably unlikely.

**Wada will pitch in a minor-league game on Sunday or Monday at Twin Lakes Park. Britton and Jake Arrieta also could pitch there Monday – the Orioles’ of day.

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