Orioles catcher Matt Wieters has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and is batting seventh in Sunday’s lineup against the Twins.
Wieters was placed on the disabled list just after the All-Star break with a strained right hamstring and only required the allotted 15 days to recover. Now healthy, he will try to right the ship on what has been a disappointing 2010 campaign.
Through 269 at-bats, the former first-round pick has posted a .245
batting average, a .315 on-base percentage, six home runs and only 29
RBI. But with the O’s so far back in the American League East, he should start every day no matter the kind of numbers that he’s posting.
Craig Tatum was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk in a corresponding move, leaving Jake Fox as the Orioles’ emergency backup catcher. In fact, Fox got in some time behind the plate on Saturday night when Tatum was struck in the hand by a foul tip.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.