The Orioles will call up Matt Wieters to make his major league debut on Friday, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said Tuesday.
The timing of the announcement reveals the spring statements regarding his demotion to be the lies that everyone knew they were. Wieters opened this season in the minors only because the Orioles didn't want him to become a free agent after 2014. By keeping him down until the end of May, they also guaranteed that he wouldn't be super-two arbitration eligible after 2011.
Wieters season to date has been something of a disappointment, if only because of the incredibly high standards he set for himself in 2008. He's hitting .285/.367/.482 for Triple-A Norfolk. That's a 200-point drop in OPS from his .355/.454/.600 line between Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie last season.
The Orioles are calling him up to play regularly, of course. Chad Moeller has been fine as a backup so far, so the team might shop Gregg Zaun over the next few days. If there's no taken for Zaun, then he'll probably slide into a backup role, with Moeller getting designated for assignment.
I had Wieters projected to hit .275/.346/.472 with 14 homers in 309 at-bats this season. I still think that's perfectly realistic. He should be a top-10 catcher for fantasy purposes.