In talking to catcher Matt Wieters about the hype surrounding his debut (to go with Tuesday’s much-anticipated arrival of Stephen Strasburg) I worked in a few questions about his struggles at the plate. Wieters snapped an 0-for-20 skid with a ninth-inning double on Sunday, but his poor performance at the plate has been pretty glaring for most of the season.
A lot of people have said the younger guys are pressing or struggling to make adjustments as the League catches up to them. For Wieters, it’s a matter of adjusting his swing so he doesn’t react to a pitch too early.
“You try to shorten it as much as possible,” Wieters said. “Where you can wait as long as you can for the ball to get there.”
Wieters said he’s been working on that in the batting cages and during BP and is confident he will start to turn things around. As I write this blog post, he’s singled in his first two at-bats off Phil Hughes, driving in the Orioles first run with that second hit.
One of the things interim manager Juan Samuel has made clear is that he will be giving Wieters more rest days behind the plate, in an effort to get his offense going and to keep his legs fresh.
“I knew I was going to get more rest as the season got on and it got hotter,” Wieters said.
“Juan played for a long time so he needs what it can be like, to be playing every day to get the blows when you need it. But ill be ready to go any time he puts me in the lineup, and any off days is fine with me too.”
I know a lot of Orioles fans are disappointed in Wieters’ production this year, but keep in mind he’s been in the big leagues for just over a year and he’s only 24 years old.
“It’s a learning process whether you have a short career or a long career, you are going to be learning the whole time through,” Wieters said. “But that’s the thing is you get your first year out of the way, you realize this is a career, it’s not something I am just going to go out there and play for a couple years, you are going to go out there and play as hard as you can and work as hard as you can. That’s going to allow you to succeed for a long time.”