Matt Wieters is having another strong September for the Orioles. You would think at such a demanding position as catcher that it would be more the norm to see his offense fall off as the season goes on.
But September has been Wieters' best offensive month during his four-year career. He is a career .298 batter with 17 homers and 58 RBIs in 88 career September starts. Those are all his best numbers for any month of the season, as are his September slugging percentage of .508 and OPS of .881.
Here are Wieters' career September numbers:
2009 - 25 games batting .362-3-14 with .511 slugging and .935 OPS.
2010 - 21 games batting .282-1-10 with .408 slugging and .750 OPS.
2011 - 23 games batting .247-7-16 with .541 slugging and .867 OPS.
2012 - 15 games batting .367-5-14 with .714 slugging and 1.198 OPS.
In this interview a few weeks ago, Wieters said that each year he has made minor adjustments to his training and in-season workout plans that have helped him stay strong throughout the 162-game grind.
"You always tweak different things that might help you feel better or (help) your performance on the field. But nothing really major," he said. "Just trying to stay as fresh as you can with either the cold tub, the hot tub, stretching, whatever you feel like your body needs.
"You can probably ask guys that have caught for a long time like (Jason) Varitek and (Jorge) Posada. I'm sure they tweaked their program every year they came back. That is why veterans are so valued in this game. The experience you get each year is something you can take forth to try and improve yourself."
Smart. Wieters is that, too.
His RBI totals have increased each of his four seasons from 43 to 55 to 68 to 79 now. His homer totals have gone from nine to 11 to 22 to 22.
We haven't even mentioned his superior defense, pitch-calling or handling of pitchers. When he is back there, the guy on the mound seems to have total trust in him.
At 26, Wieters has gained the experience to learn how to handle the long season and he's doing it probably as well as any catcher in the game right now.