Should Orioles beef up their Wieters backups?

Should Orioles beef up their Wieters backups?
November 15, 2013, 3:30 pm
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Who are Gregg Zaun, Chad Moeller, Craig Tatum, Jake Fox, Luis Exposito, Ronny Paulino, Taylor Teagarden, Chris Snyder and Steve Clevenger?

All of them backed up Matt Wieters in his first five years as Orioles catcher.

The guess is that Wieters will be back for at least a sixth year, and it’s possible that in 2014, he’ll have some new playmates.

None of the nine names above has even completed a full season as Wieters’ backup. The closest was Tatum in 2010, but he spent some time in the minors that year.

Zaun was the nominal starting catcher in 2009, knowing but ultimately not accepting that he’d be losing his job to Wieters when he was brought up from Norfolk.

After Wieters arrival in late May, Zaun pouted, and the veteran was traded to Tampa Bay in August.

It’s not easy playing behind Wieters who starts about 130 games each year. Many veterans wouldn’t accept a job that limits them to one, or perhaps two, starts a year.

Each year the list of free agent catchers is underwhelming. Nine of the 19 players on the list are 35 or over, and two of them, A.J. Pierzynski and Carlos Ruiz are starters.

Clevenger is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster. He was obtained from the Chicago Cubs in the trade that brought Scott Feldman to Baltimore. He played just four games in September, but is a left-handed hitter.