Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wieters Post-Marathon Slump

   As most Orioles fan know, Matt Wieters has been in a big lull since that 17-inning marathon in Boston. He also had the "privilege" of catching a 15-inning and 11-inning game the next week. That certainly takes a toll on a player, especially a catcher. While I highly doubt anyone should be worried about Wieters over the long run, it does worry me that the Orioles seem to be milking him for every last ounce behind the plate. Take a look at Wieters versus Jarrod Saltalamacchia since that marathon game:

   Wieters has been up to the plate 16 more times than Saltalamacchia has. Some of that is due to the 15-inning and 11-inning game. But even then, that is only about 3-4 more PA. Wieters has started 15 games since the marathon (He was the DH in 3). Saltalamacchia has started 11 games. It's no denying that Wieters has the much better defensive ability. But over this span, Saltalamacchia seems to have outproduced him. There are obviously a large amount of other factors that go into a "slump", but I thought it was just interesting to compare the two since then. I would say Wieters has had it a little tougher since then although DHing is not the same as catching a full game. If the Orioles had a backup Catcher that they could fall on such as Kelly Shoppach, maybe Wieters would have gotten a little more rest during this span. Unfortunately the Orioles still cannot figure out what is going on with the backup role. I don't think Luis Exposito is the answer. Taylor Teagarden seems to be a sunk cost at this point. Ronny Paulinio seemed like the best backup option, not to mention he can handle lefties very well. I personally thought his bat was good off the bench too.

   It's only a matter of time before Wieters breaks out of his slump, but it's clear that the long nights behind the plate have taken at least some toll on his game.

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