The Orioles' 16-9 start has obviously been caused by tremendous pitching – and specifically starting pitching.

Orioles starters have thrown nine quality starts in their past 10 outings – and have a 1.65 ERA in that time. In the three-game series against the Yankees in New York – in which the Orioles won two of three for the first time since 2010 – the bullpen threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

But what might be getting a little bit lost so far this year is just how good catcher Matt Wieters has been.
Simply put, with maybe just a sprinkle of Baltimore bias, Wieters is the best all-around catcher in baseball right now. He has arrived at that spot a couple of weeks before his 26th birthday.
We all know Wieters is a Gold Glover behind the plate – although he has made three errors already after making five in all of 2011. He’s thrown out six of 16 would-be base stealers, good for 38 percent, right around what he did last year.
It’s his offense, though, that has taken a huge step forward. He hit his seventh homer last night in the Orioles’ 25th game. He didn’t hit No. 7 last year until the team’s 74th game on June 25. He leads the Orioles in homers, RBIs (17) and on-base percentage (.391).

And did we mention he is a catcher, baseball’s toughest position?
If Wieters keeps this up, he should be the club’s first elected All-Star since Miguel Tejada and Brian Roberts in 2005.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what starter Jake Arrieta had to say about his batterymate after Wednesday’s game.
“He continues to impress me. I’ve played with him since 2007, and he gets better and better every year -- every day, it seems like. And he’s really, really comfortable now in the big leagues. Not that he shouldn’t be,” Arrieta said.

“He’s a tremendous player and very smart and knowledgeable, not only [with] what he does on the field, but his preparation is better than almost anybody I’ve ever seen. The talent that he has combined with his work ethic, his ability, is off the charts.”

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