It’s probably never that easy for Buck Showalter to write out a lineup that doesn’t include Matt Wieters catching. But Buck knows, of course, that you have to give a catcher some breaks, and Wieters is not starting today’s 12:35 p.m. game.
Wieters said he’s holding up just fine physically at this point with 33 regular season games left.
“At the end of August, you’re not feeling as good as you did in April, but everyone is ready for the grind when the season starts,” Wieters said. “When you get to September, you push yourself to keep feeling strong.”
Has Wieters made some changes and adjustments this year to try and keep himself as fresh as possible for the 162-game grind?
“You always tweak different things that might help you feel better or (help) your performance on the field. But nothing really major. Just trying to stay as fresh as you can with either the cold tub, the hot tub, stretching, whatever you feel like your body needs,” he said.
Last season Wieters played 139 games and got exactly 500 at-bats. Right now he is on a pace to play in 135 games and get 493 at-bats.
Wieters said each season a player can learn more about how to handle his workouts and preparations to help himself better handle the rigors of the season, especially at such a demanding position as catcher.
“Definitely. You can probably ask guys that have caught for a long time like (Jason) Varitek and (Jorge) Posada,” Wieters said. “I’m sure they tweaked their program every year they came back. That is why veterans are so valued in this game. The experience you get each year is something you can take forth to try and improve yourself.”
Starting tomorrow, the Orioles will play the Yankees seven times in a 10-game span. Wieters believes the Orioles are ready to play in big games even if they haven’t played in many - or really any - in recent seasons.
“It’s different than years before, but I think we can draw experience on last year and how we finished out the year. We were playing good teams down the stretch that were fighting for the playoffs and we played well. Hope we can draw on that this last month.
“We want to win as many as we can between now and the end of the season. What you can control is playing hard every day and trying to win as many as you can. You hope that puts you in the playoff hunt at the end of the year,” Wieters said.
Bundy update: Dylan Bundy’s next start is now not expected to come until Game 1 of the Eastern League playoffs next Wednesday when Bowie would host Akron in the opener of a best-of-five series.
The Baysox magic number to clinch their first playoff berth in four years is one. The next Baysox win or Richmond loss will put Bowie in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.