Wieters: O's have chance to be 'special' team
BALTIMORE -- Matt Wieters is just weeks into a a nine-month rehabilitation process for Tommy John surgery, so there hasn't been much substantial progress made yet.
But he understands that, and with the research he's done on catchers returning from the surgery, Wieters feels good about where he is in the earliest stages of his recovery.
"Two of my backups here had both gone through it, in both Craig Tatum and Taylor Teagarden," Wieters said, "and I reached out to both of those guys, and they both gave me some great confidence going into it that they both felt better than they ever felt before after coming back."
Wieters is in Baltimore for the next few days before he heads to Minneapolis for the All-Star Game -- he was voted in as a starter -- next week.
"It's a huge honor," Wieters said. "It speaks for how good Orioles fans are and how well they got out to the polls and voted. [Adam Jones is] the main reason I was able to get there, because he was still fighting for that last spot, and him being able to get in kind of carried me with him, I think."
After the All-Star break, Wieters will head back to Atlanta while the O's take an extended trip to the West Coast. Once they return, though, Wieters will be back with the team and make some of the shorter trips.
As frustrating as it his for him to not be able to play, Wieters still glad to be back around the Orioles as they -- and catchers Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley -- continue their strong play.
"It makes it a lot easier to see how well they're playing," Wieters said. "I feel like everything's kind of rolling together right, and Caleb and Nick are doing a great job behind the plate."
Wieters' presence in Baltimore gives the two catchers greater accessibility to the mind of one of the best catchers in baseball.
The All-Star, though, tries to remain at a distance unless Joseph or Hundley wants to chat.
"He thinks about the weight his words carry," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "It hit me yesterday how much we miss him as a person, and obviously as a player."
Wieters was greeted with a warm welcome from his teammates as he returned to the clubhouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Even without being able to contribute on the field, Wieters is an important part of a team that's having its best first half in almost two decades.
"That's the main reason I want to be here," Wieters said. "I want to be a part of it, because I feel like this team is a special team and has a chance, so it's something that's fun to be a part of. Even though I'd love to be behind the plate, it's still fun to be with these guys in here every day."