According to Roch Kubatko of masnsports.com, Matt Wieters talked a bit yesterday about his bullpen session with Tsuyoshi Wada. The reviews seemed to be extremely positive. Wieters said that Wada seemed to have confidence in all four of his pitches, and that he can position them on both sides of the plate. First off, it’s good that Wieters and Wada are getting comfortable with each other now. Given the number of pitchers that are in camp this year, Wieters will probably be a busy man in terms of finding a level of comfort with each of them. This will become increasingly important in the second half of Florida Grapefruit league play, as the coaching staff starts to make their decisions on who stays and who goes.
The relationship between a pitcher and catcher is something that’s not touted enough in my opinion. I think it’s no coincidence that Matt Wieters gained experience in catching the likes of Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Brad Bergesen, and Jake Arrieta down in the minors at various points. The organization knew that they’d all see each other in the big leagues. Especially in the case of a pitcher such as Wada (who doesn’t speak the best English in the world), having rapport together is extremely important. I’m not suggesting that two guys can’t go out there and pitch and catch without an issue. However shouldn’t the Orioles make sure to cross every T and dot every I?
These guys don’t need to go to see U2 together in order to bond. What’s more important is that they’re together on the field. In essence, the one constant that all of these pitchers will have is going to be Matt Wieters. I suppose it’s similar to timing between receivers and quarterbacks in the NFL. You have to work on it in practice and in games. And again, that’s part of why we play these spring training games. If guys can all get on the same page together in camp, they’ll remain as such once the regular season rolls around. This year might be a bit more challenging only for the reason that there are so many new faces. However the onus is on Wieters and the pitchers to look past that and to ensure that come April 6th, all is running smoothly from that angle.
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