The Triple-A Norfolk Tides weren’t very good in 2016, going 62-82 and finishing last in the International League South Division.
Yet, with a solid push down the stretch, the Tides actually found themselves in a bizarre divisional race that ended with the Gwinnett Braves winning despite finishing thirteen games below .500 for the year.
Even with the poor record, the Tides did have a few bright spots, including the continued improvement of right-handed-hitting first baseman Trey Mancini, who ended up making a nice impression with the Orioles. Mancini hit three homers in 14 at-bats in his brief call-up to the big leagues.
Adam Pohl, the voice of the Double-A Bowie Baysox, discusses Mancini and several other Tides with BaltimoreBaseball.com’s Dean Jones Jr., in this segment of our Minor League Baseball Podcast.
Pohl and Jones discuss Mancini’s future with the Orioles while looking at his 2016 season. They also look into some other Norfolk Tides that may help the big-league club in 2017, including catcher Francisco Pena, starting pitcher Joe Gunkel and reliever Richard Rodriguez.
Gunkel, who was added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster this winter, is an interesting guy. He doesn’t have a power arm and had a middling year statistically at Norfolk, going 8-11 with a 4.08 ERA in 24 starts. He walked only 18 batters while striking out 94 in 141 1/3 innings – and that kind of control will get him a look in the majors at some point.
This is Pohl’s last podcast of 2016 – there will be plenty more in 2017 – and he saved the Orioles’ highest affiliate for last. Give it a listen and hear about some players who could be on the Orioles’ 25-roster at some point next year.