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Wieters still trying to improve

Baltimore Orioles' Matt Wieters walks off the field after striking out duringa baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Baltimore, Tuesday, May 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Baltimore Orioles' Matt Wieters walks off the field after striking out duringa baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Baltimore, Tuesday, May 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Patrick Semansky , Carroll County Times)

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters spoke with Times staff writer Jake Rill about his hot start, learning the new pitchers, winning his first gold glove, and becoming a leader on the team.

QUESTION: What do you think you were doing well at the plate early on this season?

MATT WIETERS: It's just trying to get good pitches to hit. I think this year, it just focuses on not trying to chase so many pitches that are pitcher's pitches or out of the zone, and just trying to get good pitches to hit and something that is in a part of the strike zone I like to hit.

Q: How hard was it to learn the styles of all the new pitchers on the Orioles, and how to call them?

MW: I still continue to learn them even more, but each start I get to catch them it gets a little bit better relationship and a little bit more of an idea. But the good thing is that I did have guys that I caught before in the past who I've caught for a long time, so this spring took a lot of emphasis on getting to know the new guys as well trying to learn what they want to do.

Q: How much did it mean to you to win your first Gold Glove in 2011?

MW: It's a huge honor just to be considered as one of the better defenders in the game. At the same time, it was last year and it was a nice award to win and it's something I'll always have and can remember, but now we're going to work on getting better for this year.

Q: Despite being just 26 years old, do you feel you've taken more of a leadership role on this team?

MW: I think so. I think, as a catcher, you're always going to have to be a leader of the pitching staff and trying to work with those guys until you get them as good as they can be. I was fortunate to have a situation where you have a lot of young guys who came up together and, along with me and Adam [Jones] and Nick [Markakis] and guys like that who can kind of shoulder a little bit more of the load of the leadership position because there are so many young guys in this clubhouse.

Q: Why do you think this team has been better than teams in years past?

MW: We've been able to get quality outings from our starters and on top of that our bullpen's been fantastic. We've known that if we can just get the ball to our bullpen with a close we've got a chance. And on top of that, we've had a lot of timely hits, a lot of big home runs that we've hit so far have helped us win games.

Q: What do you think the team needs to continue doing in order to be successful throughout the season?

MW: Pitching. We would ultimately like to get our defense better than what it's been so far but the pitching and defense we feel like if our pitching stays how it is and we improve our defense, that's our formula for staying at the top.

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