Orioles catcher Matt Wieters was considered one of the top prospects in baseball when he was called up to the majors in May of 2009. He failed to live up to the high expectations of O’s fans, batting a pedestrian .288/.340/.412 with nine home runs and 43 RBI in his first 96 games. Many baseball people were optimistic that he would turn the corner this season, but he hasn’t. At least not yet.
Through 53 games this season, Wieters is hitting just .246/.316/.346 with four homers and 17 RBI. Normally fans and management can live with a few unimpressive developmental years. After all, baseball is a tough game. But we now live in a results-oriented world populated by guys like Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Leake and Buster Posey. We like our youngsters to flash greatness right away, and Wieters has largely been a disappointment thus far.
Yankees veteran catcher Jorge Posada knows all about the pressure that Wieters is facing, and chatted Thursday with MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli about the 24-year-old backstop.
are back there behind the plate, obviously your number one priority is
the pitcher, the defense, and [Wieters is] doing a hell of a job,” said Posada. “I
think he needs to understand that. … The sky’s the limit. He’s
going to be a good player. He looks strong, he looks good. And he’s
going to be there for a while.”
Orioles fans can only hope so. The club currently owns a 16-43 record and is 23 games out of first place.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.
It’s shortstop or bust for Asdrubal Cabrera, who told reporters Friday that he will request a trade from the Mets after getting bumped to second base (via Newsday’s Marc Carig). Cabrera served as the club’s starting shortstop through the first few months of the 2017 season, but lost the role to Jose Reyes while serving a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. The switch was confirmed prior to the Mets’ series opener against the Giants on Friday, prompting Cabrera to announce his trade request before taking the field.
Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo:
Personally, I’m not really happy with that move,” Cabrera said. “If they have that plan, they should have told me before I came over here. I just told my agent about it. If they have that plan for me, I think it’s time to make a move. What I saw the last couple of weeks, I don’t think they have any plans for me. I told my agent, so we’re going to see what happens in the next couple weeks.
Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson appeared skeptical of Cabrera’s request, telling reporters that he wasn’t sure a trade was “something [Cabrera] really wishes” and saying the team would wait and see how the situation shakes out. That doesn’t mean the veteran infielder will see a return to short anytime soon, however, only that he might have a change of heart after settling into his new role.
This isn’t the first time Cabrera has balked at a position change. The Mets reportedly considered shifting him to third base earlier this season, but ultimately decided to keep him at short and denied his request to pick up his $8.5 million option for 2018, something Alderson said has little to no precedent. Further changes may be on the horizon when 21-year-old infield prospect Amed Rosario gets called up from Triple-A Las Vegas and second baseman Neil Walker returns from the disabled list, though the team has yet to address either situation.