Baltimore Orioles 3-Year Analysis: Position by Position

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May 6, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (32) talks with manager Buck Showalter (26) prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


After a series of years of declining offensive production from Matt Wieters, for the first month of the 2014 season it looked like the long-awaited “Mauer with Power” hitter had finally arrived (.337 in 22 games with five home runs). As the team awaited the return of Manny Machado and struggled through early slumps with other players, Wieters looked as good at the plate as at any time in his career.

But the elbow pain led to Tommy John surgery and an abrupt and early end to a promising season.

Surprisingly it was Caleb Joseph who ended up getting the most games and innings played at catcher for the 2014 Orioles. His defense and handling of the pitching staff was excellent and a season-saver for the Birds. But he only hit for an average of .207.

Here are the batting numbers for catchers for the two years, side by side …

2013 .233 .284 84 23
2014 .240 .287 71 19

Looking back rating – “0” – relatively the same.

Looking ahead rating – “+1” – hopes for marginal improvement

Along with the concerns as to when Matt Wieters will be fully able to return is the concern as to the quality of that return. What has been lost in the season away? How will non-baseball-related therapies and the total time away take from his ability to contribute at a high level in what will presumably be his final year with the Orioles?

Presuming also that Caleb Joseph will be the primary alternative, it is reasonable to hope for a higher level of offensive output with a full season of experiences now under his belt.

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