I was reading a post by blog-buddy frostking over at Camden Crazies about Matt Wieters and how he has underwhelmed thus far, especially with the bat. It's worth reading and he makes some good observations about the cause of some of these trouble.
However, he misses on a couple things that I will point out here. First, on Wieter's patience at the plate:
I don’t know if he’s just over-anxious or has some issues with pitch recognition...but until he takes a more patient approach at the plate I don’t think we’ll see quite the hitter we expected.
Well, the walks aren't there and (as frostking's data seems to indicate) Wieters is chasing ball outside of the zone. But he's not impatient.
Pitches per Plate Appearance for Baltimore Orioles:
Wieters is being as patient as Oriole at the plate, he's just having issues with pitch recognition. And why is that? I have a theory.
Matt Wieters Left/Right Splits:
PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Wieters vs RHP 80 .316 .350 .461 .821
Wieters vs LHP 69 .222 .290 .302 .611
Wieters is struggling against lefties in the majors and has been done no favors as Baltimore has been facing an unprecedented number of LHP's since Wieters arrival. A whopping 46% of Wieters' plate appearances have been against lefthanded pitching. By comparison, Brian Roberts has only faced lefties 34% of the time. Facing this much lefthanded pitching just doesn't happen over the course of a season.
So Wieters has had to make the toughest transition in sports against the best lefthanded pitchers in the world and only faced lefties 28% of the time during his entire (albeit brief) minor league career. Is it any wonder he has struggled? He's barely seen any professional lefthanded hurlers before May.
Besides, I've already told you that Christ in a Catcher's Mask needs to wander in the wilderness for 40 games before he comes to town and starts dropping the miracles. Last night was game 39 (he went 4-5) and the last 6 games he is OPSing .933.
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Baltimore to be born?