Outfielder Lou Montanez assumed his baseball season was over, so he was home in Miami when the Orioles called and said they needed him in the big leagues.
"I was actually coming out of salsa lessons," Montanez said with a laugh. "They were ringing my phone like crazy, and I was in a salsa lesson working my hips."
Montanez said his hips are loose and he hopes his swing is too. He hasn't swung a bat since he had two hits for Double-A Bowie in a rehabilitation assignment Sept. 5.
He hasn't faced major league pitching since May 19. He was shut down a week later with torn ligaments in his right thumb and ultimately opted for surgery.
Instead of being recalled in September, Montanez was instructed to prepare for winter ball. But with outfielders Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold shut down for the season, the Orioles activated Montanez from the disabled list Saturday and moved pitcher Koji Uehara to the 60-day DL.
"I was a little bit surprised, because I thought everybody was healthy and they were going to finish out the season," said Montanez, who hit .204 with six RBIs in 18 Orioles games this season. "I didn't expect to be up here, but you've got to make the best of it."
Montanez said the thumb is "100 percent," but the Orioles won't have a concrete plan for using him until he practices.
"I can't tell you when he's going to play, if he's going to play, how much he's going to play," manager Dave Trembley said. "I have to take a look at it and see where he's at."
Moving up Wieters
In his first 78 starts in the majors, Matt Wieters batted sixth, seventh or eighth. On Saturday, against Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, Wieters was moved all the way up to third for the first time in his big league career.
Trembley's lineup options have been limited by injuries, while Wieters has hit .289 in his past 47 games.
"We need to see if we can change it up and score some runs. That's one. And two, put people in slots where maybe they'll eventually be," Trembley said. "I envision him as a guy that will probably hit somewhere in the middle of the lineup eventually."
Heading into Saturday, right fielder Nick Mar kakis had five hits in his past 33 at-bats (.152) and had homered just once since Aug. 17. Trembley said it is obvious that Markakis is not getting fastballs to hit, especially with Aubrey Huff no longer batting behind him.
Changing that will be a priority in the offseason, Trembley said.
"You need somebody who's going to hit behind Markakis," Trembley said. "That's a real big need here, and I think it's got to be a right-handed hitter. And not a guy who's a doubles hitter, a guy who can whack it, a guy who puts fear in people over there."