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Orioles postgame notes: Matt Wieters' arm looks strong; Chris Lee pulled abruptly

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters at the batting cage during spring training at the Ed Smith Stadium complex on Feb. 26, 2016.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters at the batting cage during spring training at the Ed Smith Stadium complex on Feb. 26, 2016. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, catching on back-to-back days for the first time this spring in the team's 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, threw out Boston third baseman Travis Shaw attempting to steal second.

Manager Buck Showalter said he has noticed that Wieters, who caught on consecutive days just five times last season as he came back from Tommy John elbow reconstruction, is more free throwing this spring.

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"I wouldn't say it's new this spring," Showalter said. "It was just something I didn't notice last year. … It's just [a sense of], 'Let's go. Let it rip.' You can tell he's not thinking about it. There was a little different edge of tentativeness last year, especially when games were close together and he didn't have that recovery time. … For that position, you're throwing the ball almost every play, but there's definitely a different feel to it this year. There's a different look to it."

Showalter said Wieters has been talking to Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez, who is 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery, giving him advice on his recovery. Showalter said people from the Red Sox organization have also inquired about how the Orioles treated Wieters' recovery.

Lee pulled suddenly

Showalter abruptly pulled left-hander Chris Lee in the fifth inning because he wasn't wearing the protective goggles that were prescribed for him this spring.

Lee faced three hitters, allowing a double and then retiring the next two batters before Showalter jogged to the mound to remove him from the game.

"I was not going to take a chance of him pitching without them and he's not going to pitch for the Orioles again without them," Showalter said. "Everything we do -- batting practice, infield-- he's got to have them on."

He was replaced by minor league right-hander Nick Additon.

"I asked him, 'Are your goggles in the dugout,'" Showalter said. "He said, 'No.' I said, 'Are they in the bullpen?' He said, 'No.' I said where are they? [He said], 'They're in the clubhouse.' And I said, 'Well, we can't let you pitch. I probably should have taken him out as soon as I noticed them after the first hitter and let Additon take as much time as he wants. Looking back on it, I wish I had taken him out right away when I noticed. I let him go another hitter."

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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