• Apr

    Wieters bat becoming a liability from left side

    There is little doubt that Matt Wieters is off to a slow start this year with the bat. Mainly though, it’s his left-handed hitting that’s dragged him down.

    The switch-hitting catcher is just 4-for-30 (.133) with a .369 OPS against right-handers which pales in consideration to his middle of the order bat against left-handers where he’s put up a .400/.500/.800/1.300 line in just 12 PAs.

    Strangely, this trend of hitting better right-handed than left-handed reverses a trend he had prior to 2011 when he struggled the other way around. In the minors and through his first two seasons in the big leagues, Wieters struggled to hit right-handed (putting up .671 and .564 OPS in 2009 and 2010 respectively). The one constant in Wieters’ pro career is that he has struggled to find consistency in his swing from both sides of the plate.

    Wieters hit very well in spring training showing power to all fields, but he has not answered the bell offensively once the season started.  The question now has to be asked, will Wieters ever be the hitter the Orioles thought they were getting?

    The one thing they do know is that he is a true gold glove catcher who basically negates the running game of opponents. Through the first two weeks of the season only five base runners have attempted to steal and he’s cut down four of them for 80% caught stealing rate.

    Wieters is a better hitter than he’s showing right now, but his left-handed stick has not been very effective since 2010. At some point, he has to find a way to become a better hitter against right-handed pitching because currently, he’s a liability against them from that side of the plate. That might mean going back to an all fields approach that seemed to work for him earlier in his career. Maybe that means less power, but it may be what he needs to get his swing right from the left side.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.