The Baltimore Orioles are unexpectedly in the playoff hunt just one game back from the New York Yankees in the AL East. With just 10 games remaining and a couple of major injuries (Nick Markakis, Jason Hammel), they can't afford to lose any more starters.
That's why, according to Orioles beat reporter Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, the team is hoping that All-Star catcher Matt Wieters won't miss a game due to the birth of his first child.
"He's probably getting tired of me asking him, but I talked to him on the plane last night to let him know which game in a perfect world would fit better for us," O's manager Buck Showalter told Ghiroli.
Earlier this month before Baltimore began a nine-game road trip, Wieters told The Baltimore Sun that doctors said his wife could go into labor sooner than expected. He also made it clear what he would do in that situation.
"Once she goes into labor, I would be getting on the plane to come back and see the birth of our first child," he said.
Ghiroli's tweets prompted Jon Heyman of CBS Sports to jokingly point out that the Orioles are "hoping the baby is born healthy" too.
The Orioles start a seven-game homestand on Monday, beginning with a double-header against the Toronto Blue Jays. They have an off day on Thursday before their final series at home against the Boston Red Sox. The O's then travel to Tampa Bay to close out the regular season.
Wieters, who has caught the most innings in the American League, is batting .357 in his last six games with four multi-hit appearances.
With good reason, the Orioles want Wieters behind the plate for the last 10 games, but backup catcher Taylor Teagarden might not be such a bad second option. He only has seven hits this season, but six of them have driven in runs and five of them were extra base hits.
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