The 2016 plan for Matt Wieters was to enjoy one more year in Camden Yards and hopefully have a healthy year, put up big power numbers, prove he was good enough behind the plate and get a new long-term deal this winter. Surprisingly, the defense came back quicker than the bat as Wieters looked like his old self behind the plate, but struggled to hit. He nearly posted career lows in each of the triple slash categories and his counting category totals were the lowest they have been in a full season since 2010. The power numbers come mostly from the left side while his better batting average has typically come from the right side. He was one of the best catchers on the free agent market, which helped him pick up a nice two-year, $21 million deal with the Nationals. Nationals Park is a fairly hitter-friendly environment, which could help Wieters bounce back at the plate in 2017 as the primary catcher in the nation's capital.
Wieters is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Rockies, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Wieters will get the day off while backup Jose Lobaton gets the start behind the plate. The veteran catcher has gotten off to a fairly unremarkable start in his first season with the Nationals, slashing .255/.349/.400 with a home run.
Wieters is out of the lineup for Friday's game against the Mets. Jose Lobaton will step in behind the dish as Wieters sits following four consecutive starts. Wieters is off to a decent start with a .277 average and just one more strikeout (eight) than walk (seven), but he's yet to tap into much power. He has one home run this season and has managed one extra-base hit (a double) in his last six starts.
Wieters will have the day off Saturday against the Phillies, MASN's Dan Kolko reports. The Nationals are playing a day game after a 10-inning affair last night, so it's just a normal off day for Wieters. Jose Lobaton will be behind the plate, hitting eighth.
Wieters went 2-for-3 with a double and a solo home run in Tuesday's win over the Cardinals. The fourth-inning shot off Lance Lynn was Wieters' first as a National. He's now slashing an eye-popping .435/.552/.739 through eight games to begin the season, but his spot near the bottom of the order has restricted him to four runs scored and four RBI.
Wieters went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI in Monday's 14-6 rout of the Cardinals. The move to the National League, and hitting in the No. 8 spot ahead of the pitcher, hasn't phased Wieters at all so far as he's slashing .400/.520/.550 through his first seven games as a National. The 30-year-old is still looking for his first homer of the season, but the early returns suggest he could be one of the free-agent steals of the offseason.
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