This afternoon, the Orioles again faced the Tampa Bay Rays — this time on the road — however, they ended the day with a 6-5 loss. Felix Pie, who has had rave reviews of his work in Florida, was 2-2 with a home run and triple before leaving the game with a minor injury. It looks as if he pulled his hamstring, but according to the Baltimore Sun’s Pete Schmuck, he’ll be fine.
Brian Matusz, who started the game for Baltimore, went 1 1/3 innings and looked solid on the mound. He did run into trouble as he gave up a two-run homer to Sean Rodriguez. Overall, he was impressed with the job he did as he was on the mound facing competition this Spring. He struck out the first three hitters in the opening inning. Mark Hendrickson — who came in the game in the 4th inning — gave up two runs. Lefty Mike Hinckley for Baltimore took the loss after Matt Joyce’s RBI-single won the game for Tampa.
It’s awesome to have real baseball back.
Right now, Matt Wieters is not ready to become the leader of the Orioles.
The young catcher — despite all his gifts and potential — has simply not had enough time to establish himself as a professional. It would also be short-sighted to heap such a responsibility on Matt at this time in the organization.
I think the team is looking forward to other young players such as Adam Jones and Nick Markakis to take a leadership role, as they have both had a track record so far in the majors. As it is, Wieters should really focus just learning the nuances of catching in the majors, working with the pitching staff and getting acclimated to playing 162 games a year.
In future, I can see Wieters leading by example in the clubhouse and on the field. I don’t see him as a rah-rah guy, or someone who will get into a teammate’s face if they are not pulling their weight.
There will be a time where Wieters will be looked upon to take a leadership role with the Orioles — but not now.