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Matt Wieters Will Start for Orioles Friday

May 26, 2009 – 8:16 PM
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Andrew Johnson

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Matt WietersThe Charm City will not have to wait much longer for the most anticipated rookie debut of 2009. The Orioles are planning to call up and start catching prospect Matt Wieters Friday night against the Tigers, Baltimore general manager Andy MacPhail said during MASN's broadcast of Tuesday night's O's-Blue Jays game.

Wieters, currently playing for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, was widely considered to be the best prospect in baseball entering the 2009 season after he hit .355 with 27 home runs and 91 RBI across two levels last year.

He's done little to douse that optimism so far this season, hitting .285 with a .367 on-base percentage, 15 extra-base hits and 26 RBI in 38 games at Norfolk.

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.

The wait, apparently, is over, and it's a change that can't come soon enough for the Orioles, who are buried in their customary position at the bottom of the AL East and are ninth in the league in runs scored despite a formidable top of the order on most days (Brian Roberts-Adam Jones-Nick Markakis-Aubrey Huff).

Wieters' arrival should relegate current everyday catcher Gregg Zaun, who is batting .215 on the year, to backup duty, and leave reserve Chad Moeller's future with club up in the air.
Filed under: Sports
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