BALTIMORE—Not only does Orioles manager Brandon Hyde concern himself with his team, but he also closely follows the organization’s minor league clubs, particularly the Triple-A Norfolk Tides and Double-A Bowie Baysox.
“First thing I do in the morning is take a look at the game reports and follow what our guys did,” Hyde said. “The Norfolk team is really swinging the bat. That’s outstanding. That’s awesome.”
Hyde is still getting to know the Orioles’ minor leaguers, but he had the manager and coaching staff of both the Tides and Baysox come to the early part of spring training. Norfolk’s staff was there until nearly the end.
The Tides entered Sunday with a 14-16 record and a .274 batting average.
Catcher Chance Sisco, whose demotion near the end of spring training, came as a surprise to many fans, has been on a tear. In his last seven games, Sisco is batting .536 (15-for-28) with five home runs and 18 RBIs, bringing his season average to .293.
The catcher’s defensive skills are still questionable. He’s thrown out just two of 17 runners (12 percent) attempting to steal.
Ryan Mountcastle, in his first season at first base, is on a tear similar to Sisco’s, hitting .529 in his last seven games (18-for-34). His season average is .345 with five home runs and 22 RBIs.
Another notable name hitting well for the Tides is outfielder Anthony Santander, who was the Orioles 26th man and homered in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. Santander is hitting .279 with two home runs and 16 RBIs.
Centerfielder Cedric Mullins, who hit just .094 for the Orioles before being optioned to Norfolk on April 22, seems to have found his stroke, hitting .304 with two homers and six RBIs.
DJ Stewart, who was an early cut from the Orioles during spring training, slumped early in the season, but in the last seven games, he’s 8-for-21 (.381) and his average is .250 with three homers and 12 RBIs.
“We’re pitching really well throughout the organization, too, which is a great sign, and we’re striking a lot of guys out,” Hyde said.
The Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds feature right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, who was named the organization’s top pitcher in April. Rodriguez, who was the Orioles’ top draft choice last June, is 3-0 with an 0.89 ERA in four starts. He’s struck out 33 and walked seven in 20 1/3 innings.
Delmarva had a 22-4 record entering Sunday, and a team ERA of 2.81.
Blaine Knight, last year’s third-round pick, is 3-0 with an 0.68 ERA in five starts. Knight has struck out 33 and walked just four in 26 2/3 innings.
“I think that, organizationally, it’s great to see our guys have results, prospects put up numbers, and our prospects play well,” Hyde said. “That’s something I look forward to looking at in the mornings.”
Orioles rained out: The Orioles’ game with the Tampa Bay Rays was postponed by rain. It was the Orioles’ third rainout of the season, second at home and second this week. Tuesday’s game in Chicago was rained out and made up as a Wednesday doubleheader.
Sunday’s game will be made up as part of a day/night doubleheader on July 13 at 1:05 p.m.
John Means, who was scheduled to start Sunday’s game, will pitch Monday’s game against Boston. David Hess and Andrew Cashner are scheduled to start Tuesday and Wednesday.
Cobb remains in Baltimore: Pitcher Alex Cobb’s back is still bothering him, and he hasn’t gone to Sarasota to rehab, yet. Cobb went on the 10-day injured list for the third time this season on April 27.
“He’s still getting his back checked out, a little bit of his hip,” Hyde said. “Still giving it some rest. Playing catch to keep his arm in shape right now. We will know more next week.”
Gene Stephens dies: Longtime major league outfielder Gene Stephens, who played 116 games for the Orioles in 1960 and 1961, died on April 27 in Granbury, Texas at 87.
In June 1961, Stephens was traded to the Kansas City Athletics for Marv Throneberry, a first baseman who was a key part of the New York Mets’ 120-loss season in 1962.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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