Catcher Matt Wieters is off to a good start tonight in Oakland.
Wieters threw out Jemile Weeks trying to steal second base in the bottom of the first inning, and it wasn’t even close. Shortstop J.J. Hardy took the throw. put his glove down, picked it back up, pulled out his Blackberry and updated his Facebook status, put his glove back down and let Weeks slide into it.
After disposing of the Athletics’ potential go-ahead run, Wieters gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the top of the second with his 11th home run of the season.
Wieters easily cleared the center field fence. It was an absolute bomb. Gio Gonzalez left a fastball up over the middle of the plate and Wieters crushed it.
Wieters hadn’t homered since July 17.
Maybe he was acknowledging tonight’s midnight deadline for signing draft picks. He received the largest bonus in club history at $6 million.
Speaking of signing draft picks, it appears that the Orioles are making significant progress in reaching agreement with sixth-rounder Nick Delmonico, a corner infielder/catcher from Farragut High School in Tennessee.
Maybe scouting director Joe Jordan had more than just a hunch when he exuded confidence over the team’s ability to sign Delmonico, Dylan Bundy and Jason Esposito. It would be nice, late haul for the Orioles, who have reached agreement with 20 of their picks, the most recent being Esposito.
Update: The Orioles apparently have reached agreement with Delmonico. He announced it on his Twitter page. Two down, one to go.
Update II: A team official says Delmonico isn’t “final” yet. Might have been a premature tweet. But the two sides must be extremely close to getting a deal done.