WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer and Matt Wieters talked some shop with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier during an appearance from the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Friday.
Among items discussed, the pitcher-catcher duo divulged the toughest hitters they’ve faced in their respective careers, Scherzer from the mound and Wieters as a signal-caller behind the plate, during Scherzer’s regular segment — “On the Mound with Max Scherzer,” presented by Dulles Motors.
Wieters doesn’t have to worry about his nemesis anymore — Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano — after switching to the National League.
“Robinson Cano was always a guy that, when I go in and try to put a report together, it didn’t seem to matter where we were going to go, he was going to take his hit,” Wieters said. “And [those are] the frustrating guys. The guys that are going to drive balls and drive mistakes. Okay, you can prepare for them and just try and make the best pitches possible.”
“But the guys that are going to take their hits that are down and away, shoot balls the other way, those are guys that are like, all right, we may have to manage this guy because he also can drive it when you try and come in on him,” he said. “So those are the guys that are like, where do we manage them, where do we just kind of keep on their signal, and where do we take our shot to get them out?”
Scherzer’ foe is the same type of hitter: “Joe Mauer was really tough. Where you gonna throw this guy? He hits everything and then trying to come up with different pitches to find a way to get him out, because he has great plate coverage in and away, up and down, so you really never knew where you were going to throw the ball. That was one where you don’t shake off.”
As someone who likes to study film of hitters’ swings, Wieters also finds young hitters challenging to nail down.
“We just played the Brewers who have a lot of young guys, who you don’t have the amount of at-bats on,” he said. “So it’s really fluid in game and we gave up some home runs this past series just because you see some swings that you don’t see from a lot of guys.”
“You get video for this season,” he said. “But all of a sudden, it’s like, okay, I love the extended couple of years of, okay, how have they progressed as a hitter?”