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.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.
Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.
Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.