Matt Wieters Scheduled to Join the Baltimore Orioles on Friday

Dean HyblAnalyst IMay 27, 2009

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Matt Wieters #15 of the Baltimore Orioles bats against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at Fort Lauderdale Stadium on February 26, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

The wait is over. In an interview with Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez during Tuesday night’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays, Orioles President Andy MacPhail announced that top prospect Matt Wieters will be making his major league debut on Friday, May 29, when the Detroit Tigers visit Baltimore to face the Orioles.

“We are planning on Friday to introduce him [Wieters] to Major League Baseball right here at Camden Yards against the Tigers,” MacPhail coyly announced to a stunned pair of broadcasters.

“He’s ready,” MacPhail continued. “He will have to make some adjustments at the major league level, and it’s about time he got here.”

After hitting .333 with a home run and five RBI during 20 games with the major league club during spring training, the catcher started the season at the Orioles’ Triple-A franchise in Norfolk.

Wieters got off to a slow start offensively for the Tides, but has heated up over the last couple weeks. For the season, he is hitting .285 with six home runs and 26 RBI in 38 games.

MacPhail cited recent improvements both offensively and defensively as reasons for bringing Wieters up after the first two months of the season.

“He’s made great strides defensively,” MacPhail said.  “His bat has heated up as well. He’s hit .333 with four home runs over his last 10 games.  He’s really done everything we’ve asked him to.”

When asked if Wieters is at the major league level to stay, MacPhail cited the Blue Jays recently having to demote prospect Travis Snider and emphasized that they believe Matt is ready to get his feet wet against top competition.

“There are no C.C. Sabathia’s at Triple-A,” MacPhail said.  “You don’t want to get in a situation where you have to return the player to the minors.”

So, Friday’s game against the Central Division-leading Tigers now promises to be much more than just a late May tussle, it will be the first chance for O’s faithful to see a player they hope to watch behind the plate at Camden Yards for many years to come.