Teagarden should return as Wieters' backup

Teagarden should return as Wieters' backup
October 16, 2012, 8:45 pm
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Baltimore Orioles' Taylor Teagarden reacts as he runs toward home plate after hitting a two-run, game-winning home run in the 13th inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Baltimore, Saturday, July 14, 2012. Baltimore won 8-6 after 13 innings.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

After last season, the Orioles spent nearly two months searching for an ideal backup for Matt Wieters.

Wieters caught 134 games and is one of baseball’s best. Being his backup means lots of busy work and not much real work.

Craig Tatum was his understudy in 2011, and the team wanted an upgrade. Manager Buck Showalter has long known Taylor Teagarden.  He was Texas’ manager when the Rangers drafted Teagarden, and he strongly recommended the Orioles trade for him, and they did.

Teagarden almost didn’t play for the Orioles. A back injury cost him more than three months, and he didn’t join the Orioles until after the All-Star break.

In his first game, he hit a 13th inning game-winning home run. Teagarden had just nine hits in 22 games, but five of them were game-winners.

Ronny Paulino was the backup for most of the season’s first half, and his defense was horrible. Luis Exposito was on hand briefly, and he has no offensive ability.

There aren’t any quality catching prospects in the Orioles’ system, so unless the team wants to look for another catcher happy to play once a week, it’s likely Teagarden will return.

There’s not likely to be much competition for Teagarden’s services. Even with his unimpressive average, it’s probable that Wieters’ backup will again be Teagarden.