Hawaii lei-over delays Wieters' debut in minors

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Top draft pick won't be activated until Hawaii Winter League

August 31, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN REPORTER

Area fans who were looking forward to seeing catcher Matt Wieters play for one of the Orioles' local minor league affiliates will need to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii.

Wieters, the fifth overall selection out of Georgia Tech, will continue to work out with short-season Single-A Aberdeen, but he won't appear in any games. Instead, his first at-bats will come in the Hawaii Winter League, where he's scheduled to report Sept. 25.

The Orioles are being cautious with Wieters because he hasn't played since Georgia Tech's season ended. They originally were going to activate him this weekend, and perhaps have him join Single-A Frederick for the Carolina League playoffs.

"He's had quite a bit of time off, so we're just working on his conditioning and getting him ready, instead of rushing him and having him play in two or three games," said Dave Stockstill, director of minor league operations.

Another draft pick, fifth-rounder Jacob Arrieta, also is working out with Aberdeen. But the Orioles will send him to the instructional league before he pitches in the Arizona Fall League.

Clubs interested in Trachsel

Today is the deadline for teams to set their playoff rosters, and pitcher Steve Trachsel continues to draw serious interest from contenders.

The Orioles have spoken with several clubs, including the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies, about Trachsel, but their most serious talks are occurring with one of his former teams, the Chicago Cubs, according to an industry source.

The Orioles likely would want a prospect in return who's regarded as more than just mid-level. The Cubs scouted Trachsel's last start Wednesday, when he held the Devil Rays to one earned run in six innings.

Reliever Bell on waivers

The Orioles needed a reliever who could go multiple innings last night, which led them to purchase Jon Leicester's contract from Triple-A Norfolk.

They designated Rob Bell for assignment to make room for Leicester, which they knew was a gamble.

If Bell clears waivers in three days, he'll join the Orioles in Tampa Bay on Tuesday after rosters expand. He appeared in 21 games this season, going two innings Wednesday night and taking the loss.

"He wasn't going to pitch tonight, he wasn't going to pitch tomorrow," manager Dave Trembley said. "We'd certainly like to add him back to the roster for September, but he's got to go through that protocol of clearing waivers, and Monday wouldn't count because it's a holiday."

Trembley had a long talk with Bell in his office before batting practice.

"It's frustrating because it feels like a week's worth of bad outings kind of skews the numbers and makes it look like the season's a lot worse than it has been," said Bell, who is 3-3 with a 6.49 ERA. "I feel like I've been a player that contributes, but they have to make tough decisions all the time about a lot of different players. These guys have given me an opportunity since spring training, and I'm grateful for that."

Leicester made one appearance for the Orioles, allowing four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in a May 12 game in Boston. He went on the disabled list the next day with a strained right shoulder. At Norfolk, he was 3-3 with a 2.22 ERA in 13 games.

"I was just trying to get myself where I needed to be, doing what I needed to do to get myself ready," Leicester said.

roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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