While we continue to ponder whether the Orioles can sign catcher Matt Wieters to a long-term contract, or failing that, if they will trade him, here is another Wieters question.
Can he get his bat back to 2011 levels in 2014?
In 2011, Wieters hit .262 with 22 homers, 68 RBIs and had a .450 slugging percentage with a .778 OPS.
In 2012 he hit .249 with 23 homers, 83 RBIs, a .435 slugging percentage and a .764 OPS. Then last season he batted .235 (with a .287 OBP) with 22 homers, 79 RBIs, a .417 slugging percentage and .704 OPS.
It has been a three-year decline at the plate for Wieters in average, slugging and OPS.
Wieters has struggled to hit right-handed pitchers the last few years, and maybe it is no coincidence that the O's added lefty hitting catchers in Steve Clevenger and Johnny Monell.
But even when Wieters had his most productive season in 2011, he hit just .235 with a .662 OPS against right-handers. The difference that year was his huge numbers against lefties, as he hit .339 with an OPS of 1.124 and 11 homers in 121 at-bats as a right-handed hitter.
So his big numbers against lefties led to his best season as an Oriole, but last year he posted career lows in average and OBP.
What is your take? Can Wieters get back to his 2011 stats? Why does he struggle against right-handers? What kind of season will he have in 2014?