Monday, May 12, 2008

To Wie or not to Wie

With Ramon Hernandez's aching wrists threatening to send him to the DL, the Orioles Hangout insiders are saying that the O's are pondering whether or not to call-up catching prospect Matt Wieters from high-A Frederick.

Currently, Wieters is tearing up Frederick to the tune of a 1.053 OPS with 8 HR.

And while it's a risky move to call up a player from single-A ball, Wieters is making the idea hard to simply reject.

At this rate, Wieters is looking like he'll be the starting catcher in 2009. Calling him up to replace Hernandez for a few weeks will allow him to get a feel for the big leagues so that he won't have to deal with the jitters when he returns to the Orioles either later this year or next.

However, Wieters would skip two crucial MiL levels to get to the majors, and his adjustment period would possibly be long and hard to watch. You don't want to damage his ego. But, Wieters definitely has "it", and given the right amount of time, he would more than likely get adjusted to the majors.

Personally, I don't see much of a problem with calling him up. If he's being over-matched, send him back down to Frederick to get him feeling good about himself again and then promote him to Bowie as soon as possible. But, if he comes here and looks good, there is no reason to send him back down.

I would like to get the adjustment period out of the way early so he can become a crucial part of the offense next year which could possibly have Mark Teixeira in it.

One thing is for sure though, if Ramon goes to the DL, the O's will need another catcher. If it's not Wieters, it should be Chris Heintz, who is currently holding his own at Norfolk with a .805 OPS. He would serve as back-up to Guillermo Quiroz, who deserves more playing time, even with Ramon healthy.

So, the Orioles have a decision to make, and for once, it's a decision they really can't screw up no matter what they decide.