7/11/2014 11:27 P.M. ET
Wieters: O's have chance to be 'special' team
By Brittany Ghiroli and David Wilson / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Matt Wieters is just weeks into a a nine-month rehabilitation process for Tommy John surgery, so there hasn't been much substantial progress made yet.
But he understands that, and with the research he's done on catchers returning from the surgery, Wieters feels good about where he is in the earliest stages of his recovery.
"Two of my backups here had both gone through it, in both Craig Tatum and Taylor Teagarden," Wieters said, "and I reached out to both of those guys, and they both gave me some great confidence going into it that they both felt better than they ever felt before after coming back."
Wieters is in Baltimore for the next few days before he heads to Minneapolis for the All-Star Game -- he was voted in as a starter -- next week.
"It's a huge honor," Wieters said. "It speaks for how good Orioles fans are and how well they got out to the polls and voted. [Adam Jones is] the main reason I was able to get there, because he was still fighting for that last spot, and him being able to get in kind of carried me with him, I think."
After the All-Star break, Wieters will head back to Atlanta while the O's take an extended trip to the West Coast. Once they return, though, Wieters will be back with the team and make some of the shorter trips.
As frustrating as it his for him to not be able to play, Wieters still glad to be back around the Orioles as they -- and catchers Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley -- continue their strong play.
"It makes it a lot easier to see how well they're playing," Wieters said. "I feel like everything's kind of rolling together right, and Caleb and Nick are doing a great job behind the plate."
Wieters' presence in Baltimore gives the two catchers greater accessibility to the mind of one of the best catchers in baseball.
The All-Star, though, tries to remain at a distance unless Joseph or Hundley wants to chat.
"He thinks about the weight his words carry," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "It hit me yesterday how much we miss him as a person, and obviously as a player."
Wieters was greeted with a warm welcome from his teammates as he returned to the clubhouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Even without being able to contribute on the field, Wieters is an important part of a team that's having its best first half in almost two decades.
"That's the main reason I want to be here," Wieters said. "I want to be a part of it, because I feel like this team is a special team and has a chance, so it's something that's fun to be a part of. Even though I'd love to be behind the plate, it's still fun to be with these guys in here every day."
Ubaldo headed to DL; Gausman to return
BALTIMORE -- Ubaldo Jimenez is headed to the disabled list with a right ankle sprain that he suffered on Wednesday. Jimenez will be replaced on the roster by right-hander Kevin Gausman, who will start on Sunday against the Yankees.
On a scale of 1-10, manager Buck Showalter said that Jimenez's pain is "an eight."
"He stepped in a hole in the parking lot," Showalter said of Jimenez, who suffered the injury outside of his Baltimore apartment. "We were looking at it today. It's pretty puffy, taped up. He tried to take a work day yesterday. We were hoping that it would resolve somewhat today. It did not and he's not going to be able to start tomorrow, so [we'll] DL him ... and have him ready post-All-Star break."
Gausman, who was on his way to Camden Yards on Friday afternoon, took a "light side day" on Thursday for Triple-A Norfolk, and he has been shuttled back and forth to the Minors despite pitching well. He has allowed one run or fewer in four of his past five Major League starts.
Jimenez has had a similar injury with Cleveland, and he was shut down early in the 2012 season. Signed to a four-year, $50 million deal this past winter, the news of his injury on Friday is the latest in a disappointing first half for Jimenez, the most expensive free-agent pitcher signing in Orioles history. He went 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA in 18 games, including a 1-6 mark with a 5.29 ERA in nine starts at Camden Yards.
"I understand how things work with people that make a living making light of things like this, but he's frustrated by it," Showalter said of Jimenez. "I would a lot rather have him healthy and pitching."
Showalter said because the O's are recalling Gausman within the 10-day window, they can't backdate Jimenez to his last start. He would be eligible to pitch the sixth game of the second half, though that's not guaranteed, and it will be based on Jimenez's rehab progression.
"If it wasn't because of the All-Star break, we might wait a couple days [to DL Jimenez]," Showalter said, "but also with it being the same ankle he had done in 2012 and looking at how long that took, with ankles, I kind of learned that you take a look at the history with them."
Roberts returns to Camden Yards with homer
BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts was greeted with a mild ovation as he came to the plate in the second inning of the Orioles' series opener with the Yankees on Friday. There was a smattering of polite applause mixed in with a handful of boos.
Miguel Gonzalez delivered just one pitch to the second baseman before Roberts gave the Oriole Park at Camden Yards crowd a familiar sight. Roberts belted a home run over the right-field wall to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Even then, there weren't many boos, and those were drowned out by the cheering New York fans.
"I know there were some people that liked me and some people that don't," Roberts said. "I kind of knew that going back, and after the home run, I really wasn't paying attention, to tell you the truth. I didn't hear it a lot; I saw my teammates and that was about it."
Roberts, who finished the night 1-for-4, had faced his former team in a pair of series in New York this season, but Friday was his first time back in Camden Yards since leaving the Orioles this past offseason.
It didn't take long for Roberts to be reminded why Oriole Park is his favorite ballpark -- but that came after he ventured into a new part of the stadium's underbelly.
He's played more games in this ballpark than anyone else, but in the 13 years he played with the O's, he never traveled past the home clubhouse and into the visitors' area.
"I don't know if I walked in here one time in my career," Roberts said. "It's definitely strange to walk by the home clubhouse and come over here, but it's kind of a new chapter of life. I'm certainly excited to be back. Spent the night in my house. Good to sleep in you own bed sometimes."
It was a relatively underwhelming ovation for a player who garnered American League MVP votes during the 2005 season, but there was no undeserved animosity, either.
"I think our people are real good about that," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said before the game. "They have a real feel for the game and the history, and they remember the things that Brian did so well for us."
Roberts was named to a pair of All-Star teams during his time with the O's, twice led the AL in doubles and led the league with 50 steals in 2007.
His final four seasons in Baltimore, though, were beset by injuries, and Roberts never played more than half of any one season. This year, he's already played in 79 games -- his most since 2009 -- and entered Friday batting .246 as an everyday player for the Yankees.
By now, he's used to wearing pinstripes, although it was strange at first to be away from Camden and in a new uniform. The Baltimore years, though, will forever be the highlight of his playing career.
"At this point, I've gotten more used to [being a Yankee]," Roberts said. "I've enjoyed every day here. It's been a great experience for me, and certainly the 13 years that I had here in Baltimore were the best years of my life. Nobody can ever take that away."
• Relief pitcher Julio DePaula has been outrighted to Double-A Bowie.
• Starting pitcher Bud Norris will start on Monday for Bowie against Richmond in an 11:05 a.m. ET game. He will have no pitch or innings limit.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.