In 465 plate appearances, the switch-hitting backstop batted just .225 with a .643 OPS and 62 wRC+, easily the three lowest such marks of his career. On top of that, Matt Wieters' 10 homers were the fewest he's hit in a season where he's played at least 100 games, as he saw a significant dip in hard-hit rate (33 to 27.4 percent) from 2016 to 2017. He did draw praise from the Nationals' pitching staff for his preparation and game management, which was reflected in the staff's 3.61 ERA with Wieters catching -- the second lowest mark among NL backstops who caught at least 600 innings. Coming off one of his worst seasons as a pro, Wieters unsurprisingly decided to exercise his player option and return to Washington for another year. Given his rapport with the pitching staff and the large amount of money he's owed in 2018, Wieters still should play a significant role for the Nationals, though consistent reps in a potent lineup can only take him so far with the declining skill set.
Wieters is expected to catch fewer games in 2018, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. This isn't all too surprising seeing as Wieters is coming off one of his worst offensive seasons as a pro. The switch-hitting backstop batted just .225 with a .643 OPS and 62 wRC+ in 123 games last year, all of which were easily the lowest such marks of his career. He did draw praise from the Nationals' pitching staff for his preparation and game management, so the hope is that he can contribute more evenly on both sides of the ball with a reduced workload in 2018. Pedro Severino will likely see an increased workload as the team's backstop, assuming Washington doesn't turn elsewhere to acquire another catcher prior to the season.
Wieters will officially return to the Nationals in 2018 after exercising his $10.5 million player option, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post reports. As expected, Wieters will return to Washington for the final year of his two-year deal. The backstop is coming off one of his worst statistical seasons as a pro, hitting just .225/.288/.344 with 10 homers and 52 RBI over 123 games. He's still viewed as the Nationals' starting catcher heading into 2018, but the team may look to bring in a capable backup that could push Wieters for playing time.
Wieters is expected to stay with the Nationals and exercise his $10.5 million player option for the 2018 season, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. Wieters had a bit of a down year during his first season with Washington, slashing .225/.288/.344 with 10 home runs and 52 RBI. On a positive note, he was able to stay relatively healthy, playing in 123 games, and will head into spring training as the starting catcher for the Nats.
Wieters is not in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Pirates, Dan Kolko of MASN Sports reports. Wieters continues to serve as the Nationals' primary backstop, but he'll start on the bench for a second straight game as the team looks to keep him fresh for the playoffs. Jose Lobaton will take over behind the dish, batting eighth.
Wieters is not in the lineup Wednesday against Philadelphia, Jamal Collier of MLB.com reports. Wieters will receive a standard day off following two straight starts behind the plate, going 2-for-6 with a pair of singles during the first two games of this series. In his place, Pedro Severino will handle the catching duties.