Talking pitching and catching

Jake Arrieta started last night for the Orioles. Zach Britton will start tonight. Chris Tillman will start Wednesday. Brian Matusz is in the bullpen.

Not too long ago, they were viewed as four-fifths of the Orioles rotation for years to come.

Not sure who was supposed to round out the staff. Brad Bergesen?

Anyway, Arrieta was optioned after last night's 5-1 loss to the Tigers, creating a spot for Britton in the rotation and on the 25-man roster. Not like he would have been available to pitch over the next few days. You could see the move coming a mile away.

I'll say it again: There's no reason to release Arrieta. Put him back in Norfolk's rotation and see what happens. He's not clogging up a valuable spot. And he's an optional piece if the Orioles need a reliever and some added flexibility in their bullpen.

It's quite possible that Arrieta evolves into a reliever. Whatever his role, he must pitch down in the strike zone. He only walked one batter last night, intentionally, but he was up and over the plate. Danger zone.

I passed along Britton's career numbers against the Tigers last night. In two starts, both at Comerica Park, he's 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 innings.

Max Scherzer allowed one run and struck out 10 batters in six innings last night. Now, the Orioles get Justin Verlander, who's 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA in 12 career starts against them.

Frying pan. Fire. You get the idea.

Right-handers are batting .276 against Verlander this season, while left-handers are batting .239. Maybe the Orioles use Danny Valencia as their designated hitter. He's 4-for-13 with a double versus Verlander.

Adam Jones is 2-for-24 with eight strikeouts, but he'll be in center field. Alexi Casilla is 3-for-21. He'll be on the bench.

J.J. Hardy is 6-for-28 with a double and two homers. Chris Davis is 3-for-14 with eight strikeouts. Matt Wieters is 3-for-17 with a double, triple and home run.

Since I mentioned Wieters and he's such a popular topic on this blog, whether I write about him or not, here's a leftover from a recent "O's Xtra" on MASN that compares the Orioles backstop to the Cardinals' Yadier Molina through the first 570 games of their respective careers.

WIETERS vs. MOLINA


.258 BA .263
73 HR 32
283 RBIs 226
107 2B 84
.325 OBP .318
2 ALL-STAR 1
2 GOLD GLOVES 1

Here's a recent article on CBSSports.com that provides scouts opinions on the top catchers in baseball.

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