BALTIMORE -- The Orioles placed catcher Matt Wieters on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring on Thursday, a move that is retroactive to July 10. Rookie infielder Josh Bell will take his place on the active roster.
Wieters came out of the July 9 game in Texas after stumbling around second base, and did not play the rest of the weekend. Interim manager Juan Samuel told reporters in Arlington that the organization hoped the four days during the All-Star break would be enough to quell the recurring injury, which Wieters tweaked during the series in Detroit.
Now, it appears Wieters will need more time, making backup catcher Craig Tatum the likely choice to assume the bulk of playing time behind the plate. The O's recent trade for utility man Jake Fox, who can also catch, will help spell Tatum if needed.
Still, the injury to Wieters is a big blow for an already beleaguered Baltimore club. The 24-year-old switch-hitter was a mainstay in the lineup and was batting.245 (66-for-269) with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 77 games. Wieters' defense has been much improved under the tutelage of new bench coach Jeff Datz, and he was beginning to put it together at the plate, posting a .313 average in his past 10 games.
The 23-year-old Bell was optioned on July 10 to make room for starter Chris Tillman, but he had not yet been added to Triple-A Norfolk's active roster. Bell was batting .266 (76-for-286) with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 74 games for the Tides. He made his Major League debut for the Orioles on July 1, and batted .200 (3-for-15) in five games.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.