Here is a stat that may get your attention: Matt Wieters has thrown out 77.8 percent of base stealers this year, getting seven of nine runners. The rest of the AL East is a combined 9-for-57 for 15.8 percent. The AL average right now is 24.7 percent.
Was anyone surprised last night when Wieters threw out Desmond Jennings trying to steal in the top of the ninth?
Yeah, he’s been pretty special back there.
Orioles pitcher Jake Arrieta provided some pretty interesting insights today on Wieters. He also mentioned that the pitchers are trying to do their part by being quick to the plate to give Wieters a chance. The plan is working right now.
“Being aware of our times at the plate is allowing for opportunities for Wieters to throw guys out,” Arrieta said. “His percentage right now is impressive. If we keep giving him a chance, he can keep doing this.”
It is clear that pitchers’ times to the plate is more emphasized now with Buck Showalter as skipper.
“When I was in the minor leagues, it wasn’t stressed enough,” Arrieta said. “I feel like when a lot of the younger guys got to the big leagues - guys like myself, Zach Britton, (Brian) Matusz, Tilly (Chris Tillman) - it wasn’t emphasized the way it is now in our farm system, to get us ready for the types of stolen-base threats that we would come into contact with. For a lot of guys throwing with a certain time to the plate their whole career and then having to make improvements, that’s a huge adjustment.
“I want to be under 1.3 (seconds to the plate from the stretch). I feel like if I am under that or right there, Wiety will have a great shot to throw a guy out. There is a fine line there, though, between being quick to the plate and rushing.”
No doubt Wieters has been remarkable this season and Arrieta says he’s gotten even better and smarter in how he can control an opponent’s running game.
“He’s done a tremendous job in knowing guys’ tendencies and when they like to put steals on and when guys have green lights,” Arrieta said. “He’s developed a very good awareness of those situations. Sometimes I can tell when a guy is going to go pretty much by the way Wieters receives the ball. He’s right about every time. It’s fun to watch.”
That it is. Wieters may not get a huge challenge from the Dodgers this weekend. They have stolen just five of eight bases and only St. Louis with four has fewer in the National League. But they do have Carl Crawford batting atop their order and he is 3-for-5 on the season.
But you can bet if the Dodgers want to give it a shot, Wieters will be prepared and ready to try to add to his impressive caught stealing percentage.
AL leaders, caught stealing percentage:
.800 - Orioles (8-of-10)
.400 - Minnesota (2-of-5)
.333 - Texas (2-of-6)