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Wieters Gets the Call

All the speculation about when and where Matt Wieters might finally make his major league debut is now over, now it's time to see what the kid has to offer.

Team president Andy MacPhail made the surprise announcement during last night's Orioles telecast (see video below, and the stunned reactions of Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez) that Matt Wieters will be called up and will make his first start in Friday night's home game against Detroit.

There had been discussions about Wieters making his first appearance during the team's upcoming road trip to possibly minimize the media frenzy but the Orioles seem to have decided against that.

So why Friday? Well, the Orioles' starting pitcher has something to do with it. Wieters will get the start and will catch former minor league teammate and fellow young Oriole Brad Bergesen in what the team and its fans hope will be a winning combination for years to come.

Wieters will move in to the everyday catcher's role as MacPhail stated, "the lineup is up to the manager, but we didn't bring him up here to sit ... Matt Wieters isn't going to do a lot of sitting." Almost as if to justify his impending promotion, Wieters had four hits and drove in four runs for Class AAA Norfolk last night.

It is possible Wieters's debut could qualify as a Baltimore city holiday the way the Orioles and the city are behind the switch-hitting catcher. In many ways, Wieters is hope personified for Baltimore's tortured fan base.

His signing two summers ago marked a change in ownership philosophy as the team shelled out the most it ever had for a draft pick in handing Wieters a $6 million signing bonus. His arrival this weekend demonstrates that the team's long dormant farm system is now capable of nurturing and bringing up a blue chip prospect - a fact the pitching talent in the minors also lends itself to.

Perhaps just as important, Wieters's debut at Camden Yards should put fans in the seats. Something that the Orioles could probably use as Jason Berken's first major league start and win (and the team's fourth in five games) drew a record low crowd of 10,130 on a wet and cool evening in Baltimore. Now the hard part for fans will be to wait through today's matinee against Toronto and tomorrow's series opener against the Tigers before seeing the man, the myth, the legend. Anyone planning to make a trip out to The Yard?

But hey, since waiting isn't any fun so what are your predictions for Wieters's debut? Will he start out hot out of the box, or will he struggle in his first game, or will he become the first player to homer from the on-deck circle?

By CJ Holley  |  May 27, 2009; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Orioles  
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Next: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture


Sure, Friday looks like a good day to make the annual trip up to the yards. He probably will only get a single but anything more then that, I'm sure the crowd will go wild.

Posted by: irishnat | May 27, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Can see the O's thinking here. Fireworks night plus Wieters equals according to reports 40,000 expected for Fri night.

Posted by: bulldog23 | May 27, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

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