Strong-arming the Orioles' catchers

Unsure whether the Orioles would make a postgame roster move yesterday, I checked my phone approximately 72 times per minute. And ... nothing.

No demotions, no promotions.

It's conceivable that they will do something before tonight's series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. If not, manager Buck Showalter will be asked about his discussions with executive vice president Dan Duquette and the state of their bullpen.

The Orioles still need a starter for Wednesday. Eventually, we're going to get a roster move.

It won't involve a catcher. The Orioles are quite satisfied with Matt Wieters and his backup, Taylor Teagarden.

Wieters has been awarded the American League's Gold Glove the past two seasons after making the All-Star team. And yet, he isn't a unanimous choice for best throwing arm by a catcher inside the home clubhouse at Camden Yards.

I've talked to a few players who insist that Teagarden actually has a stronger arm, though release and accuracy still give Wieters the edge. I ran that idea past Showalter before yesterday's game.

"Understand, I'm not agreeing with that," Showalter said. "I'm saying Tea has a really good arm. I would match his pure arm strength up against anybody. He can suck the air out of the infield throwing the ball down to second.

"I did infield a few times in spring training, which is a highlight for me, and when you hear a ball come out of a guy's hand, ... it's kind of like a guy with a good curveball. You can hear it. He can whistle it. It's pretty effortless, too."

The offensive side of Teagarden's game has been slow to catch up, so to speak, but Showalter says, "Not many guys on our team have more pure power than Teagarden. He can hit it where the grass never grows. He's strong."

Teagarden's back issues last spring made him a late arrival to the 25-man roster, and he appeared in only 22 games. He's played in two this season, going 0-for-7 with three strikeouts.

Teagarden started Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader and will most definitely to get off the bench while the Orioles are on the West Coast. In the meantime, the prep work is the same for Teagarden as it is for Wieters.

"Tea caught some very instrumental games for us down the stretch three or four days in a row when Matt was out," Showalter said. "I think most of it had to do with (Wieters') new son. We backed off Matt for a couple days. But (Teagarden) has to be ready to be an everyday catcher, too.

"I see the work that John Russell does. He has a little program where X number of days, they go out early when nobody's here and they throw and they block and they do game situation stuff. Tea's engaged. He and Matt are always in the film room talking about hitters and going over reports. I hear them talking.

"(Saturday) night, it was the other way around. (Teagarden) would come in and Matt would be picking his brain about what he saw. It's a good tandem. I think Tea will be ready for anything we hand him because he gives himself a chance to."

Wieters will remain in the lineup tonight against Toronto's J.A. Happ, a left-hander who seemed to face the Orioles every other day in spring training. We saw plenty of this guy.

Adam Jones is 4-for-6 against Happ. You can be sure that he's also starting tonight.

Orioles starter Chris Tillman will have his hands full with Jose Bautista, who's 4-for-9 with a double, two home runs and four RBIs against him.

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