Matt Wieters sizes up his All-Star experience

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters used words like “exciting” and “cool” to describe his first All-Star experience.

He got into the game as a reserve in the sixth inning and went 0-for-1 at bat and also was charged with a passed ball after not being charged with one all season to that point.

He later found out he was slated, as the third catcher on the American League squad, to possibly only play at all if the game went extra innings. Then New York catcher Russell Martin told AL manager Ron Washington to play Wieters ahead of him since he had already been in an All-Star Game.

Matt Wieters discusses his All-Star experience before the O’s game against the Indians

“I really appreciated that,” Wieters said. “To be able to get in there in your first All-Star Game and catch three innings, that was real big of him. I appreciate the experience and was excited to get out there. Now, we try to have a good second half.”

Wieters said the whole experience was special, but that Monday night provided some real excitement.

“The Home Run Derby is really the big thing that opens your eyes. I used to watch that as a kid. To see those guys hit homers a long way was pretty cool,” he said.

“Just sitting there and watching that was pretty exciting. The game was cool as well, just the whole experience.”

He was asked about that passed ball after going 88 games in the regular season without one.

“It was ironic. Those guys have some pretty outstanding stuff,” Wieters said.

Wieters enjoyed meeting and playing with the other All-Stars. He was asked if there was one player he really bonded with.

“You can look at (Detroit catcher) Alex Avila. He’s a guy going through similar things as I am,” he said. “He’s young in his career and being able to get in his first All-Star Game. We hung out a bit and he’s a good guy and it was fun to hang out with him.”

Wieters has been carrying a heavy load behind the plate, but said his body feels good as the second half is about to begin.

“I feel good, had all day off yesterday even though I was flying back. I have not had many bumps and bruises this year for a catcher and hope to keep that going through the second half,” he said.

A note from the minors: Single-A Frederick first baseman Tyler Townsend is going back on the disabled list and it is a hamstring injury again. Townsend has been dogged by hamstring issues for much of the last two seasons. Mike Flacco has been moved from Single-A Delmarva and takes Townsend’s roster spot.

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