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Matt Wieters: Baltimore Orioles Need Young Catcher to Get Back on Track

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 29:  Buck Showalter (Manager) and Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles argue a strike call with Umpire Doug Eddings during MLB action against the Toronto Blue Jays at The Rogers Centre May 29, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images
Jon ReidCorrespondent IIJune 2, 2012

When Matt Wieters was ascending the ranks of the Baltimore Orioles organization, he was looked to as their catcher of the future.

Since his arrival at the major league level, baseball fans all across the continent quickly learned why that was.

In just under 100 games in 2009, Wieters hit an impressive .288 and had an OPS of .753.

While he struggled in 2010, he managed to have somewhat of a rebound season in 2011, batting .262 with an OPS of .778 while belting out 22 home runs.

His play behind the plate has steadily improved, as he went from throwing out just 24 percent of runners in 2009 to topping the 30 percent mark in 2010, followed by an incredible 37 percent last season.

This season, it seemed like Wieters was once again set on putting together a better season than his last, as both he and his team had a phenomenal month of April and similar start to May.

After the Orioles started the month of May on a five-game winning streak, Wieters was sitting pretty with a batting average of .301, an on-base percentage of .381 and a slugging percentage of .602 (giving him an OPS of .983). Wieters had also gone yard seven times and tallied 18 RBI.

Since that point, however, Wieters has only managed a paltry 11 hits in 75 at-bats, good for an average of just .147.

He's also been disappointing in the power department, only powering out one home run and amassing an abysmal four RBI.

During this slump, Wieters' has seen his average drop by 69 points to .232, while his OBP has fallen 57 points to .319 and his slugging percentage is down by 173 and currently sits at .429.

Unfortunately for Wieters, his own struggles at the plate seem to be spilling over into his game-calling.

In seven of the past nine games he's caught, the Orioles have allowed at least four runs to their opponents.

Wieters was also tossed early on in his May 29 contest in Toronto for arguing balls and strikes.

While others are struggling to perform right now as well for Baltimore, Wieters' struggles seem to be a critical part of the O's dropping nine of their past 11 contests.

While he has still managed to keep his caught stealing rate up at 37 percent, Wieters will need to find a way to get it going again at the plate in order to help Baltimore snap out of their current funk.

 

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