Matt Wieters has now thrown out seven of 10 potential base stealers and his 70 percent success rate leads the American League. Joe Mauer of Minnesota has gotten 60 percent (3-of-5) and no one else is close to that pair in the AL.
Wieters has made improvements in this area and said he feels the speed of getting the throw off is probably the biggest factor in throwing out a runner.
“I always think getting rid of the ball is the biggest factor. Get rid of it quick and then make an accurate throw,” Wieters said. “Arm strength is nice, you can make up some ground, but the most important part is getting rid of the ball quickly and throwing accurately.”
Buck Showalter has pointed out that this is a team effort and not just the Wieters show here. Pitchers need to hold runners to give Wieters a chance and middle infielders need to hold their ground to make tough tags at times against oncoming runners.
Wieters said Orioles pitchers, including today’s starter, Jake Arrieta, have made big gains here in the last year or two.
“I think it was something that was really stressed from Buck with the pitchers and the more time we get to spend on it, the better we get,” Wieters said. “A lot of guys have continued to make strides. Jake especially is one of those guys who has continued to make his times better and at the same time feel comfortable to make quality pitches while doing that.
“We’ve had guys willing to work hard to get better and also they have found that it has actually made their stuff and location better.”