When Matt Wieters threw out Kelly Johnson trying to steal to end Wednesday’s game, not only did J.J. Hardy make a nice tag, but Wieters’ time in getting the ball to second base was exceptional.
Wieters was clocked at 1.75 seconds from the time he caught the ball to the time it took to get the ball to Hardy’s glove. The major league average is right around or just under under 2.0 seconds.
Buck Showalter talked about that play earlier today.
“If you go through (the video), you’ll see him doing about three things before the ball even gets there that allows him to throw 1.75 to second base that most people can’t do,” Showalter said. “People make the mistake that the guy doesn’t run well that he doesn’t have quick feet. He has real quick feet. Mechanically, to unload that quickly at 6-foot-5 and a quarter, that is really hard to do.
“We could probably sit there in spring training and get 10 of our best catchers and throw them a perfect pitch up and away and see how fast they could be and they probably wouldn’t be 1.75. Then you take into consideration the situation in the game.
“That is something our pitching coaches really emphasize in the minor leagues, is getting all their times under 1.3 (in pitcher throwing to first base to hold a runner). After every outing, they report the pitcher held runners well or did not. It is really a challenge in the Gulf Coast League and Aberdeen because kids are coming out with (a slow time to first). But why wouldn’t you give someone with Matt’s skills the ability to throw someone out? You play the game in 90-foot increments.”
The Orioles continue to rank first in the AL in team caught stealing percentage at .373. The AL average is .253.
AL leading catchers, caught stealing percentage:
.425 - Joe Mauer, Minnesota
.389 - Matt Wieters, Baltimore
.352 - Salvador Perez, Kansas City