What a strange coincidence! On the same night the Orioles attracted the fewest fans in the 18-year history of Camden Yards, Baltimore GM Andy MacPhail announced that young Triple-A phenom Matt Wieters would be promoted to the big leagues this weekend. That's just in time for the O's home series against the Tigers and the big Chick-Fil-A plush cow giveaway on Saturday. The young catcher tore up Triple-A Norfolk and is totally going to put asses in those seats, especially if team owner Peter Angelos deigns to visit the park this weekend. Get it? Because he's an ass?
But really, the move that so many Bawlmer folk wanted back on Opening Day was put off a couple months so Angelos could save a few sheckels:
Though the team has never admitted as much, it has been widely speculated that Wieters was kept in the minor leagues over the first two months of the season so that he would not earn enough service time to become a "super-two" -- a player who accrues enough playing time to be eligible by major league rules for salary arbitration after his second season as opposed to his third.
Other teams have employed this same strategy, most recently the 2008 Rays who held eventual Rookie of the Year winner Evan Longoria back a couple weeks. But in the end, the Rays were able to fill in his time at third base with a capable substitute as Willy Aybar OPS'ed .870 before Longoria was called up. The Orioles have essentially wasted 46 games worth of garbage at-bats on the catcher position, scoring an AL East low 223 runs.
So hit the bricks, backup catcher Chad Moeller and go back to Toronto, primary catcher Gregg Zaun. It's Wieters Time!