Baltimore Orioles: Wieters returns, hits 5th
Matt Wieters makes his return to the Baltimore Orioles lineup tonight at Cleveland, catching and batting fifth, for the first time since May 10 of last season.
It is wise to keep expectations realistic, even though this is good news. No one knows what to expect, but over the course of time, it should have a good effect on the lineup and on defense. Caleb Joseph wasn’t chopped liver and will divide playing time with Wieters for a while, but just how equally is anybody’s guess.
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There was as flurry of moves today, including bringing Rey Navarro back up and designating Everth Cabrera for assignment, ending that experiment. His reputation for speed preceded him, but you can’t steal unless you get on base, and he only hit .208. The Orioles also brought up Cesar Cabral, a lefthanded reliever who will take Brian Matusz‘s place when Matusz’s suspension begins.
According to MASNsports.com, that is expected to be tonight, and remain at eight games.
The interesting thing will be how much of a readjustment there will be between Wieters and the pitchers, particularly if he only plays every other day, if indeed that’s the plan. Offensively, he hasn’t faced Major League pitching in a year, so even though he’s seen the pitchers before, there’s no way to tell if he’ll hit right away. With about five weeks to go before the All Star Break, Wieters has time to warm up his overall game before the second half of the season. A solid second half will be the only way to salvage his bargaining power after the season.
Call to the Pen
In terms of the present day, things have to improve from losing three out of four to Houston. The Orioles let Astros first baseman Chris Carter, a .206 hitter, go on a relative tear against them, getting five hits and two home runs. Chris Tillman, tonight’s starter against the Indians, has been nobody’s rock of stability this season. He’s been one of the worst offenders at letting the opposing team back in it after his teammates get him a lead.
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