ARLINGTON, Texas—Catcher Chance Sisco is back with the Orioles, and he hopes it’s an extended look.
Sisco was cut late in spring training, a day after the Orioles acquired Pedro Severino on waivers. Despite the disappointment of being sent to Triple-A Norfolk after a strong spring, he played well for the Tides.
“Obviously, that’s not what you want, to be sent down,” Sisco said. “Tried to focus on the good things and the positive of what I got out of spring and take those with me to Triple-A to start the season and continue what I built on in spring and continue that through the season.”
In 44 games, Sisco hit .289 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs. He threw out six of 33 runners (18 percent) attempting to steal.
“I’m definitely excited to be here,” Sisco said. “Things that are going well—sticking to my approach and trying to be consistent day-in and day-out with preparation and my approach in the box. Catching-wise, pretty much sticking to that.
In 2018, Sisco made the Orioles and was strong defensively at first, throwing out nine of 18 runners trying to steal. However, 20 of his final 24 runners trying to steal were successful.
Sisco spent extra time working on his defense at Norfolk.
“Special attention to that and working with the pitching staff, talking to them and making sure we’re all on the same page.”
Offensively, Sisco had issues in 2018, batting .181 with two home runs and 16 RBIs. He was just 1 for his last 29.
Sisco, who was recalled on Monday, replaces Austin Wynns, who was optioned to Norfolk after Sunday’s game.
“I just want him to do what he was doing at Triple-A,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s taking really good at-bats against right and left, competing at the plate, making some strides defensively … I don’t want him to try to do too much.”
In talking with Norfolk manager Gary Kendall, Hyde says he’s noticed Sisco has improved defensively.
“It sounds like his leadership, the leadership behind the plate and how he’s commanding the game and pitch-calling,” Hyde said. “A little bit of the intangible part is really improving, throwing the ball a little bit better. He needs to continue to work on footwork and accuracy. That’s improved … since spring training as well.”
Texas is starting left-handers Drew Smyly and Mike Minor in the first two games of the series and Pedro Severino will start against them. Sisco will likely play on Wednesday when the Rangers are scheduled to start right-hander Ariel Jurado.
Chris Davis, who had been on the 10-day injured list with an inflamed left hip, was activated on Tuesday and replaces utilityman Stevie Wilkerson on the 25-man roster.
Hyde enjoyed managing Wilkerson, who played center field for the first time in the majors.
“Stevie did a nice job here,” Hyde said. “He played a lot of positions for us. We threw him out in a tough spot in center field. He did an awesome job. I like the way Stevie plays. I like his aggressiveness. I like his cocky nature and how he plays with a ton of confidence.
“It wasn’t easy to send him down, but we had to make room for CD. I’ll think we’ll see Stevie up here shortly.”
With Wilkerson gone, DJ Stewart, who has limited minor league experience in center, is Keon Broxton’s backup.
“DJ’s done it in the past, and we’re going to put a lot of time in with DJ and making him play well in center field,” Hyde said.
Stewart could get starts in center.
“Anything goes this year,” Hyde said. “I think we’re in a position where we’re going to move guys around. We’re going to try and create some versatility in guys.”
Orioles draft some pitching: For the first time in draft history, which began in 1965, the Orioles didn’t take a pitcher in the first seven rounds of the Major League Baseball draft.
On Tuesday, they chose: Louisiana State University centerfielder Zach Watson in the third round; New Mexico State shortstop Joey Ortiz (4th); Texas high school shortstop Darell Harnaiz (5th); Stanford catcher Maverick Handley (6th); Texas Christian University outfielder Johnny Rizer (7th); and right-handed pitchers Griffin McLarty from the College of Charleston (8th) and Connor Gillispie from Virginia Commonwealth (9th). In the 10th round, they picked their third catcher, Jordan Cannon from Sam Houston State.
Rounds 11-40 are on Wednesday.
Hyde on Rutschman: Hyde, a former catcher, watched tape of Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman before he was selected first in the draft on Monday.
“I watched the draft like everybody else,” Hyde said. “I was excited to get Rutschman.
“…In talking to a lot of scouts and watching a lot of video, he does it really, really easy. He’s got unbelievable feet. He’s got a really, strong accurate arm, blocks really well, commands the game well. He’s kind of been their captain. The makeup everybody talks about is off the charts. He takes control of the field and he switch-hits and can really hit from both sides of the plate.
“We’re fortunate to have him, and can’t wait to get started with him.”
Minor matters: Eight Delmarva Shorebirds were named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team. They’re right-handed pitchers Ofelky Peralta and Grayson Rodriguez, left-handed pitchers Zach Matson and Drew Rom, catcher Daniel Fajardo, shortstop Adam Hall, outfielder Doran Turchin and designated hitter Seamus Curran.
The game is on June 18 in Charleston, West Virginia.
Double-A Bowie left-hander Alex Wells was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week.
Yusniel Diaz, who was rehabbing his hamstring injury at High-A Frederick, is back with Bowie.