The golden glove and hot bat of Matt Wieters set for return in 2015
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Going into the 2014 season, there was much speculation on whether Matt Wieters would bounce back from his .235 batting average he had in 2013. After the first month of the season, his batting was exactly what every Orioles fan was hoping for.
In April, Wieters batted .338/.372/.563 with four home runs and 15 RBI.
His ever-consistent defense behind the plate was still present. Even though he threw out just one base runner attempting to steal (11 stolen bases allowed), Wieters still maintained a .994 fielding percentage in 194 2/3 innings played with the Orioles in 2014.
Everything for No. 32 was going great until an untimely elbow injury sidelined him. He sat out for a weeks weeks, hoping to build strength back up in his elbow. However, this was futile as he was forced to have season-ending Tommy John Surgery in order to repair his torn ulnar-collateral ligament.
It was anticipated with no setbacks that Wieters would be good to go for Opening Day. And since the surgery in June, his rehabilitation has been a successful one.
In 2014, Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley carried the loud while Wieters was out. In his first year in the Majors, Joseph batted .207/.264/.354 with nine home runs and 28 RBI. Hundley batted .233/.273/.352 with five home runs and 19 RBI.
Behind the plate, Joseph maintained a .993 fielding percentage and Hundley had a .995 fielding percentage. Where Joseph shone was when it came time to throwing out base runners attempting to steal. He threw out a league-leading 40% of base runners (23 out of 57 base runners).
Joseph seems to be the front runner for the back-up catcher role when Wieters returns in 2015.