It wasn’t a shock when the Orioles made a change with their catchers on Monday, optioning Chance Sisco to Triple-A and purchasing the contract of Austin Wynns.
Sisco and Pedro Severino haven’t played well this season. When he was optioned, Sisco was batting .154 in 23 games.
Severino has struggled defensively, especially during the 14-game losing streak. Manager Brandon Hyde decided to give Sisco more playing time last week, but it didn’t help.
Sisco goes to the Tides with just one hit in his last 16 at-bats, but Hyde was charitable.
“Tough conversation, this morning. I love Chance. Great kid. Team player, works his tail off,” Hyde said.
“I’d just like to see him go down and see him driving the baseball. I like all the improvements he’s made defensively, continue to work on his defense. He’s throwing the ball much better than he has the past couple of years. His receiving is continuing to improve. He’s learned the position better. He’s becoming a better defensive catcher.”
Sisco threw out six of the nine runners who tried to steal, an improvement over the past two seasons when he threw out only 17 percent of runners attempting to steal in 2019 and 19 percent last year.
His offense has been in a decline. Sisco has a .199 average in 191 games with the Orioles over the past five seasons. Because he’s a second-round pick in 2013, he’s been given him many opportunities.
“Got to get the bat going,” Hyde said. “I’ve always loved his plate discipline, his ability to lay off pitches borderline and off [the plate]. We don’t really have a lineup full of those type of guys. He’s got to start putting up some offensive numbers, got to get back to really driving the ball from gap to gap and just feel more comfortable offensively, getting four at-bats a night, hoping that that gets him going.”
Wynns was chosen eight rounds later than Sisco in 2013, and he’s the kind of player managers love. He’s a hard worker and heady player. Wynns was hitting .333 with three home runs and nine RBIs for Norfolk.
“Off to a nice start, swinging the bat well, hitting the ball for average, catching the ball extremely well,” Hyde said. “Austin’s just very, very solid defensively.”
At Norfolk, Sisco will join Brett Cumberland, who came to the Orioles in the July 31, 2018 trade with Atlanta that brought Bruce Zimmermann and Evan Phillips to Baltimore, as well as Nick Ciuffo and Taylor Davis, two catchers with major league experience. Ciuffo has an injured hand that’s prevented him from playing so far this year.
Wynns was hitless in four at-bats in Monday’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota but earned praise from starter Jorge López and Hyde.
“I like Austin’s intangibles,” Hyde said. “He’s got great feel behind the plate. He does a great job with his pitchers. He’s a really good clubhouse guy, he’s the ultimate team guy. I like the way he really invests himself with pitchers, getting them through innings and helping out guys on the mound … Any type of offense he gives us is a bonus. He’ll take good at-bats.”
Along with Stevie Wilkerson, Wynns brings energy and a positive attitude. Wynns didn’t see major league action in 2020, but if he plays well, he could be in contention to be Adley Rutschman’s backup when he joins the Orioles.
Infielder Richie Martin was placed on the 60-day injured list to make room for Wynns. With Martin, whose broken left wrist could keep him out until August, fellow infielders Rylan Bannon and Jahmai Jones and outfielder Yusniel Diaz all injured, the Orioles had a 40-man roster crunch. Putting an injured minor leaguer on the 60-day injured list is not something teams like to do, but there was little choice.
In case of an injury to a catcher, Sisco can be brought up without costing the team a roster spot as Wynns did.
Josh Rogers released: The Orioles released left-handed pitcher Josh Rogers, who came to the team along with right-handers Cody Carroll and Dillon Tate in the July 2018 trade with the New York Yankees for Zack Britton.
Rogers won his major league debut on August 28, 2018, pitching five innings and allowing three runs in the Orioles’ 12-5 win over Toronto.
It was his only major league win.
Rogers, who had Tommy John surgery in 2019, pitched in eight games for the Orioles in 2018 and 2019, and leaves with a record of 1-3 and an 8.65 ERA.
He began the season with Triple-A Norfolk and was 0-3 with a 7.79 ERA in four games.
Rogers enjoyed talking about his friend Lamar Jackson, who also went to Louisville.
Rogers’ release was first reported by MASNsports.com and confirmed by an industry source.
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