As several Orioles ate breakfast in the middle of the home clubhouse at Camden Yards on Wednesday morning, a television report came on trumpeting the pending arrival of top prospect Matt Wieters.
From now until Friday, when Wieters will be summoned from Triple-A Norfolk to make his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers, the Orioles players will hear plenty more about the switch-hitting catcher, though they say that's just fine by them.
"I'm absolutely excited to see him," Orioles first baseman Aubrey Huff said. "I've always been a big fan of his. The kid has got a great head on his shoulders. In spring training, nothing seemed to rattle him even with all the hype around him. I don't expect all this hype to affect him one bit. He's above all that. He just seems like a big old country boy, just a simple-minded guy that loves to play the game."
The Orioles had known for a while that Wieters was coming up soon, but president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail's announcement during Tuesday's MASN telecast of the game still took a couple of the players by surprise.
"I was a little shocked the way it was handled, but it's definitely exciting," Huff said.
Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen, a teammate of Wieters' last season at Double-A Bowie, learned the news when he retreated to the clubhouse during Tuesday's game to get a drink.
"It's exciting for the fans that they finally get a glimpse of Matt Wieters," Bergesen said. "I don't think there's a question if he's ready. He has the talent and the mental side also. He has unbelievable tools, so it will be exciting to see what he does up here."
Said center fielder Adam Jones: "It's going to be fun. We're in the big leagues. He's not. I think we're looking at it as, 'It's good he's done with the minors.' I don't want to say he mastered the minors, but he did what he had to do."
A busy week of roster moves continued Wednesday when the Orioles activated designated hitter Luke Scott and replaced him on the disabled list with starting pitcher Koji Uehara (sore left hamstring). Uehara will be eligible to return from the DL on June 9.
"That's what I'm thinking right now," Uehara said through his interpreter.
The Orioles will have to make another roster move today to make room for the scheduled starter, right-hander David Hernandez, who will take Uehara's spot in the rotation. Hernandez is 3-1 with a 2.90 ERA in eight starts for Norfolk and struck out 14 batters in his most recent outing.
The Orioles' options include sending down one of their relievers, such as Matt Albers or Chris Ray, or designating fourth outfielder Felix Pie for assignment. Orioles manager Dave Trembley wouldn't tip his hand, but he acknowledged that he has thought about keeping an eight-man bullpen, especially with a starting rotation that now includes three rookies along with Rich Hill, who couldn't get through four innings Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Trembley said he has no plans to keep three catchers. Wieters' arrival Friday is expected to cost backup catcher Chad Moeller his roster spot, though Moeller said he hasn't been informed of the Orioles' plans.
"I know they have a decision to make, and it's going to be whatever they do," Moeller said. "We'll just wait and see what happens."
When shortstop Robert Andino was asked where his four-hit day Wednesday came from after he entered the game with only seven hits all season, he jokingly said, "My bat."
All jokes aside, it was a career day for Andino, who had three hits off Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, and also made two nice plays in the field.
"It felt good to get out there and have a day like that," Andino said. "I was just out there trying to have fun and put the ball in play."
Trembley said of Andino: "That's a role player who comes up big today. That's what you need for a team."