Buck Showalter is always thinking. He’s always going through the what ifs in his mind? What if Adam Jones gets hurt? What if Chris Davis?
The one scenario Showalter really doesn’t want to contemplate is: What if Matt Wieters gets hurt? Who would substitute for him?
Obviously, Steve Clevenger has shown to be a more than acceptable backup, and he would be the regular catcher if Wieters ever had to go on the disabled list.
Wieters was on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in July 2010, but the All-Star break reduced its severity.
The Orioles have one other catcher on the 40-man roster, Michael Ohlman, but he’s in his first season at Triple-A, and he’s batting just .188.
They currently have three catchers at Norfolk: Caleb Joseph, Johnny Monell and Brian Ward.
Joseph, who’s batting .290 entering Thursday night’s game at Lehigh Valley, is getting his first extended Triple-A audition. Monell, who was expected to contend with Clevenger this spring for the backup job, has disappointed. He’s hitting a horrid .120.
Ward, who is 28, is finally getting a real look at Norfolk. Several pitchers have commented that he’s good to work with, but hasn’t shown much of a bat.
The Orioles hope that Wieters’ run of excellent health continues. If it doesn’t, Joseph would probably be their choice to be the backup should Wieters or Clevenger get hurt. They could, of course, search outside the organization.