|Wieters mania can officially begin Friday
Andy MacPhail made a nation of Matt Wieters fantasy owners happy Tuesday by announcing that the Orioles will call up the game's top prospect Friday. Wieters celebrated the news by going 4-for-4 with a walk Tuesday night at Triple-A and is now hitting .305/.387/.504 with five homers, 16 total extra-base hits, and a 30/20 K/BB ratio in 39 games there despite getting off to a terrible start last month.
Few prospects in recent memory have received as much hype as Wieters, to the point that posting a .900 OPS as a 23-year-old catcher at Triple-A is somehow viewed as a mild disappointment. Wieters has been described as Joe Mauer with power, although at this point that just equals Joe Mauer. While he's not going to revolutionize the sport in his first week, his upside is legitimately spectacular.
Wieters is a switch-hitter with big-time power, outstanding plate discipline, and a .343 career batting average, which along with a plus glove behind the plate gives him a chance to develop into a perennial MVP candidate. While expecting him to reach those heights as a rookie is wishful thinking, Wieters is absolutely capable of immediately emerging as one of the AL's top-hitting catchers. He's for real.
While the Orioles coincidentally decide that Wieters is ready the moment that his service time is suppressed, here are some other notes from around baseball …
* Wieters won't be in the majors until Friday, but the Mets called up top prospect Fernando Martinez from Triple-A on Tuesday after placing Jose Reyes and Ryan Church on the disabled list. Carlos Beltran's injured leg also has him unavailable until at least Friday, so Martinez jumped into the lineup by going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts as the right fielder and No. 6 hitter.
Prior to this season Martinez's raw stats in the minors have been fairly mediocre, but the Mets rushed him up the organizational ladder at an extremely quick pace and he batted .291/.337/.552 with eight homers and 25 total extra-base hits in 42 games at Triple-A as a 20-year-old. However, with a 31/11 K/BB ratio Martinez is still extremely raw and seems likely to struggle before going back to Triple-A.
* Grady Sizemore revealed Tuesday that elbow problems have impacted his play all season, which perhaps helps explain how one of the league's elite players is hitting just .222/.312/.407. Sizemore started at designated hitter Tuesday and is expected to take several days off from throwing in an effort to avoid the disabled list. He's hitting .194 with two homers and three steals over the last 25 games.
AL Quick Hits: David Ortiz dropped to sixth in Boston's lineup Tuesday, marking the first time since 2004 that he's hit lower than fourth … Carlos Quentin won't be available before the weekend after leaving the White Sox to have his injured foot examined by doctors in Chicago … Jason Bartlett (ankle) joined double-play partner Akinori Iwamura on the disabled list Tuesday, leaving shortstop to Reid Brignac for a couple weeks … Matt LaPorta headed back to the minors Tuesday after hitting just .190 while starting only 12 of 24 games since his call-up … Coco Crisp left Tuesday's game with a sore right shoulder … Travis Hafner (shoulder) is expected to come off the DL next week … No structural damage was found in Carlos Guillen's injured shoulder from an MRI exam, but there's no timetable yet for his return … Jorge Posada (hamstring) caught three innings in a simulated game Tuesday, throwing and running the bases.
NL Quick Hits: Ryan Braun exited Tuesday's game after being hit on the wrist by a pitch … Conor Jackson said Tuesday that "no one knows" whether pneumonia will keep him out for "a couple weeks" or "six months" … Rafael Furcal missed his second straight game Tuesday with a sore buttocks … Hanley Ramirez left Tuesday's game after straining his groin on an infield single … Livan Hernandez allowed one run in a 127-pitch complete-game win Tuesday … Adam Dunn took Hernandez deep for his 1,000th career hit, 293 of which are homers … Yunel Escobar (hip) sat out his fourth straight game Tuesday, but is expected to rejoin the lineup Wednesday … Gary Sheffield is now hitting .291/.430/.535 after going 2-for-3 with a three-run homer Tuesday … Jesus Flores (shoulder) is scheduled to come off the disabled list this weekend … Jesus Guzman headed back to the minors Tuesday after going 1-for-10 in a brief stint with the Giants.