BALTIMORE – On Thursday, Matt Wieters threw another potential base stealer out. So far this season, Wieters is seven-for-nine. His backup, Taylor Teagarden, has thrown out the only runner who has tried to steal.
Manager Buck Showalter thinks that the Orioles’ All-Star catcher has gotten better at throwing runners out and his pitchers are doing a much better job at getting the ball to the plate quicker.
Showalter has emphasized to the rest of the organization that pitchers have to get the ball home in about 1.5 seconds.
“If you are not X time or below, our guys know from Aberdeen on up, you are not going to pitch here,” Showalter said.
“My point to the pitchers is why would you not take advantage of a commodity that we have in Matt and Tea by being 1.6, 1.5 to the plate?”
Jake Arrieta, who has had Wieters as his catcher in both the minor and major leagues, spoke at length about him on Friday.
“He’s one of the best catch-and-throw guys in the league, without question,” Arrieta said.
“If we continue to give him a good shot, he can keep throwing out guys at the rate he is.”
Arrieta is sometimes criticized for overthinking on the mound, and he especially enjoys watching Wieters try and outthink the runner.
“He’s developed a very good awareness. I can tell when a guy’s going to go by the way he receives the ball,” Arrieta said.
“He’s right almost all the time.”