There has been a lot of talk about catcher Matt Wieters and his offensive numbers, or lack thereof.
I asked Wieters about his offense today and also if carrying such a heavy load with catching and playing almost every day hurts his offense a bit.
“I don’t think so. I think you can look at my numbers last year and they are probably similar to this point in the same number of at bats. You have a good month or couple of weeks and you are right back where you need to be.”
You know what, Wieters is not that far off with that comment.
Wieters after 51 games:
2009: .269-3-15......318 OBP......379 slugging.....697 OPS.
2010: .236-4-16......308 OBP......335 slugging.....644 OPS.
While those numbers are down, they are not down so much from his rookie season at a similar point and he actually does have one more homer and RBI than he did in the same number of games last year. Wieters said there is an area he is concentrating on right now with his offense.
“I’m constantly trying to work on shortening up (my swing). In this league, the swing can get long and these pitchers can expose you. You are constantly trying to stay short, I probably got a little long the last couple of weeks and I’ve really been working hard in the cage to stay short. I’m pretty confident it will come around.”
Wieters has just two extra-base hits, both doubles, over his last 22 games and has not homered over his last 24 games since May 5th. He is batting just .184 since April 27th.
Wieters has been playing a lot behind the plate and manager Juan Samuel has said they need to find more days off for him moving forward. He did not play Sunday vs. Boston.
“It for sure can wear on you as it gets hotter. Especially as a catcher, getting a couple of days off (Sunday and Monday) really gets the body feeling good when we come in here today. My body still feels good, so any day he wants to put me in the lineup I’m ready to go, but at the same time, you welcome some days off.
“Tatum’s been great calling a game and playing defense back there, so we feel like we have just as good a chance with him back there.
“You have to come with the mindset that you are ready to play every day, no matter how the body feels. This is our job, so you play as hard as you can for as long as you can.”