Baltimore Orioles: Matt Wieters will be Caleb Joseph’s backup


Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With Caleb Joseph’s hot start to the 2015 season and Matt Wieters’ continuing struggle to bounce back from Tommy John Surgery, Wieters may find himself to be Joseph’s backup when he returns to the Baltimore Orioles’ active roster.

Caleb Joseph is batting .375/.487/.594 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and four RBIs to his credit in his first 10 games of the 2015 campaign.

He is second on the team in batting average (with at least five at-bats). Joseph is also tied for first in walks with six and is tied for sixth on the team in runs batted in.

Clearly Joseph is on a hot streak right now and is finding his swing by putting together some great, patient at-bats for the Orioles. However, it is not just his offensive production that is on point. It is his defense that is continues to be his strong suit.

While Joseph has yet to throw out any base runners yet attempting to steal and has allowed five stolen bases so far this season, Joseph continues to call a great game behind the plate night in and night out. It is because of this that the Orioles pitchers, both starters and relievers, are gaining a level of comfortability and trust in him that they may not have had in him as a rookie last season.

That level of trust can be completely tampered with if, all of a sudden, manager Buck Showalter decides to pull Joseph if and when Matt Wieters is ready to return. Wieters is still rehabbing in Florida and just recently caught one inning of a simulated game going 0 for 4 from the plate.

It appears Wieters is still lost at the plate as he was in spring training with no base hits in 23 plate appearances not to mention is hesitance to throw to the bases from behind home plate. If and when Wieters is major league ready Showalter is going to have a difficult decision to make.

Joseph is putting up good numbers and has earned the respect and trust from his pitchers, where Wieters looks like a faded image of what he used to be just one year ago. With the consistency at which Joseph is batting, there is no possible way Showalter can just yank him from the starting lineup.

He adds a sense of reliability to the bottom half of the Orioles’ lineup that has not been seen in some time. This may be an instance where Showalter will give Joseph the nod over Wieters and say you are now our starting catcher.

Showalter will not completely abandon the former All-Star and Gold Glove catcher. He could move him to the designed hitter role where he will not have to worry about throwing the ball from behind the plate or he could even split time with Chris Davis and Steve Pearce at first base, giving his knees and big 6′ 5” stature a rest from the grind of being hunched over behind the plate for nine innings every day.

Wieters is anticipated to be playing in the minor leagues by the end of the month.

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