As for Wieters, Showalter gave him a corner locker at the end of a row, closest to Showalter’s office. One way or another, they talk every day.
“His main message to me is that this team has the talent to compete,” Wieters, 24, said, “and it’s up to me to get these [pitchers] to believe that it doesn’t matter who’s in the box . . . that they’re going to go out there and beat them that day.”
Connecting with Wieters wasn’t hard for Showalter. The kid is polite, smart and receptive to instruction. But turning him into a forceful leader has proven to be more of a work in progress. Last year, Showalter became aware of some Orioles veterans hazing Wieters and quickly put an end to it.
“I’m very protective of the guy who’s going to be catching our pitching staff, without that [hazing] happening. I’m not a big fan of that stuff,” Showalter said. “Make the guy’s path easier, not harder. Matt’s the last guy who should have that coming to him, because Matt is almost to a fault respectful of [veterans].”