First off, a big move was made yesterday -- well, it was very much expected; nevertheless, it is still very much noteworthy...
Manager Dave Trembley met with Wieters following Thursday's exhibition loss to the Florida Marlins and informed him of the club's plans, but the assignment is not yet official. Wieters will remain with the team over the weekend and is scheduled to accompany the Orioles to Jupiter for Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Florida Marlins.
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The move is both strategic and economic. The club wants to give Wieters the chance to excel at the Triple-A level the same way he did at Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. Team officials also want to hold him back for at least a few weeks to preserve a seventh year under club reserve, a strategy employed by the Tampa Bay Rays with Evan Longoria that led to him signing a long-term contract at favorable terms for the team.
Wieters needs to stay down for the first 12 days of the regular season to keep the free agent clock ticking for an extra year, but team officials have indicated he'll probably play at Norfolk for a month or two to get some more professional experience before moving permanently into the major league starting lineup.
We all knew he was going to be sent down, and while I hoped he'd start the season in Baltimore, this move makes complete sense at leats business wise. I'm sure when he comes up, they'll be a buzz in the air and excitement we have not seen in a long time.
However, I do think that Wieters is ready for the majors now, and should be on the Opening Day roster. I'm all about winning games and putting forth a competitive team; however, right now, the plan is not to rush the young talent, and I am in agreement with that.