Making his first start today, Taylor Teagarden talks about calling pitches

There seem to have been a few times this season, and even in spring training, where I’ve noticed an Orioles starting pitcher praising catcher Taylor Teagarden and his ability to call pitches.

The O’s have one of the best backstops, of course, in Matt Wieters and it’s nice that the club can send a guy out there to sub for Wieters without a huge dropoff.

The pitchers need to be confident in the guy behind that plate and the literally hundred or more decisions he makes each game.

I asked Teagarden this morning if that game-calling ability is more a product of a lot of pregame prep and scouting or reactions he makes once the game starts and as it continues?

“Definitely we have a game plan going into the game and then there are definitely a period of adjustments during the game if things aren’t going on course as we previously had planned,” Teagarden explained.

“Each game kind of has its own identity. It all depends on how the starter is going, the flow of his rhythm and how he is executing his pitches. But there is a lot of preparation involved, but you have to also make adjustments.”

Does he often break from a pregame plan as he sees what stuff a pitcher has that day and how the batters are reacting to it?

“Yes, but there are good hitters in every lineup and they can hit good pitches and at times can confuse you with your game-calling,” Teagarden said. “But you have to understand that is going to happen and you just really rely on the pitcher’s strengths. More times than not, that will get you through their innings.”

Wieters is a Gold Glove winner and when he caught last season, O’s pitchers had an ERA of 3.79. It was 4.50 with Teagarden back there, but the club was a more than respectable 10-5 in his 15 starts in 2012.

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