09/01/12 10:09 AM ET
Orioles add four players in first wave of callups
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Wilson Betemit, who has been on a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie, was also activated on Saturday.
"We think they can all bring something," manager Buck Showalter said Friday. "You love having a third catcher. It makes it easier to [use] Matt [Wieters as the designated hitter] and it makes it easier to run for him. Xavier brings a guy who can pinch-run, and Tolly has been a big part of some of our wins this year. Talking to [manager Ron Johnson] down in Triple-A, they were the guys that he strongly recommended, with some others."
Showalter said Tommy Hunter will throw an inning for Bowie on Saturday and he is eligible to return to the team early next week as a callup. Bowie is in the playoffs -- unlike Norfolk -- so Hunter won't be available to the Orioles right away.
Zach Britton, on the other hand, will. Britton -- optioned after Thursday's start -- is tentatively slated to make his next start with the Orioles on Tuesday with Joe Saunders starting Monday's opener in Toronto. Chris Tillman will pitch Sunday's game against the Yankees. Showalter said they are considering "one or two" players additionally from Norfolk, and that probably means Jake Arrieta and left-handed pitcher Zach Phillips, who is not on the 40-man roster. Norfolk's season ends Monday.
"The game we play up here changes dramatically tomorrow," Showalter said. "The good news is that everybody we have coming here has already been here. We still have got, I think, one non-roster player we're considering. We'll see how the next day or two goes."
Wolf to be used in bullpen for O's playoff push
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles officially added veteran free-agent pitcher Randy Wolf to their 25-man roster on Friday, giving manager Buck Showalter another left-hander to use out of the bullpen.
Wolf was 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA in 25 games -- including 24 starts -- for the Brewers this season, and he was released last week in the final year of a three-year, $29.75 million contract.
"This has been the most frustrating year of my career, because I'm probably throwing a slight bit harder than I was last year, I feel better physically than I did last year," Wolf said. "And I know my stuff isn't that much different. I think my location hasn't been as good.
"It's been a nightmare year, no doubt. To me, I look at going to Baltimore and going to a new team as maybe a silver lining in a nightmarish year. It's exciting to go to a new team and kind of have a rebirth and try to help out in a new role."
Wolf, a season removed from going 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA, has just five career relief appearances in 371 Major League games, but he said Friday he was aware of the role change and welcomed the idea of signing with Baltimore.
"It's different, but I think it's exciting," Wolf said. "A big part of my decision was coming here and helping the team, which I think has a great chance of winning. Being in the playoffs the past two out of three years, I realized that's what it's all about -- to play September baseball when it actually means something and every game's important. No matter what the role is, that's exciting."
Wolf joins Brian Matusz, another converted starter, as the lefties in the bullpen, and Matusz has made just two career relief outings to date.
"Everybody in this ballpark at some point was inexperienced, including me, so we think they're good options," Showalter said. "Both of them have the ability to pitch [with] some length, too, which is always good."
Wolf said the decision to pitch for the Orioles came together quickly as the 14-year veteran was excited about the possibility of pitching in a pennant race.
"That's one of the most exciting things about it -- to have that opportunity to help out a team in that situation," said Wolf, who is pitching in the American League for the first time in his career. "This is one of the teams that's the best team that nobody is talking about. In the mass media, you don't hear much about the Orioles. It's an exciting team. They're finding ways to win every day. It's pretty exciting to see a team that ... it's hard to really put your finger on what it is that makes them win, but as long as they win, that's all that matters."
Troy Patton (right ankle sprain) threw for the first time since his injury Thursday, 60 feet off flat ground, and that was a good sign for Patton, who hadn't picked up a ball previously. But there is still no timetable for his return.
The Orioles have not been under .500 this season.
With the postseason races heating up, the Orioles-Yankees series will be featured on "Caught Looking" on NBC Sports Network on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.