Trembley discusses O's callup plans
Manager doubts catching prospect Wieters will join Baltimore
ANAHEIM -- August may have just begun, but it's never too early to think about September.
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley was asked Wednesday if he has any plans to promote top prospect Matt Wieters for the final month of the year, partly as a reward for his red-hot debut season and partly in preparation to take over the catcher's job in 2009.
Trembley replied that he hasn't been privy to those discussions, but that he doesn't think it's been contemplated. For now, the Orioles just want Wieters to continue doing what he's doing, which is overwhelming the competition. The switch-hitter has batted above .340 for both Class A Frederick and Double-A Bowie, and Trembley said he has room to grow.
"Keep putting up big numbers, keep getting more experience," Trembley said of his hopes for Wieters. "He got a taste of it in Major League Spring Training. I'm sure he'll get that opportunity again next year. I think it's great that he's working with some of the pitchers down there. That decision to bring him up is totally Andy MacPhail's. Totally."
MacPhail, the Orioles' president of baseball operations, has steadily insisted on a conservative promotion schedule for his prospects. But Wieters may be a completely different story. The 22-year-old has displayed patience and an ability to hit far beyond his years, notching a .448 on-base percentage for Frederick and a .464 mark in 39 games for Bowie.
He's taken everything in stride, and Trembley is certain that he'll eventually handle some adversity just as well.
"He's going to hit that wall sooner or later," he said. "From what I saw, his makeup is not going to change one bit, just his approach. I think he'll able to handle it as well as he has handled all the success that he's had. He's very under the radar, so to speak. I don't think he's the kind of guy that seeks a lot of attention. He just lets what he does on the field speak for him."
And if not Wieters, who might the Orioles call up? Baltimore may seek outfield assistance from Tike Redman or Chris Roberson at Triple-A Norfolk, and it could also elect to add some pitching help in the form of long reliever Brian Burres or starter Hayden Penn, but Trembley said the organization has yet to make any decisions.
"We have not talked about that at all," he said. "I'm sure that will be one of the things on the agenda, but I haven't talked to Andy about that at all."
One name you probably won't hear is erstwhile closer Chris Ray, who's spent the season recovering from ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow. Trembley said that Ray is getting close, but not close enough to pitch in the Major Leagues.
"I'm not speaking for Andy MacPhail and I'm not speaking for Chris Ray," said Trembley. "I don't know the benefit of what could be gained by bringing him back to the big leagues for a week or so in September. I think the conservative approach is a lot more wise. Let him go pitch in instructional leagues, let him pitch in some less pressurized situation.
"Knowing Chris Ray and his makeup, once this guy gets in games, he's going to let it go. He's a very competitive person. I think he'd be better off just taking it slow. That's my feeling."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.