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Brandon Hyde Likes Orioles' One-Two Punch Behind The Plate

June 7, 2019
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde is confident his pair of catchers can boost the bottom half of the lineup.

Veteran Pedro Severino has been one of the team's most productive hitters and is a steadying force behind the plate. Chance Sisco, who was selected in the second round (No. 61 overall) of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, was recalled June 3 and will get an opportunity to show he can remain a viable part of the major-league roster.

For now, Hyde said he would prefer to start Severino against left-handers and Sisco will get his opportunity with right-handers.

"I think we'll match them up," Hyde said. "Probably right-handers, but I think we'll match up him and Sevie as we go along and they're both going to play a lot."

The Orioles are deep with talent behind the plate, especially with the addition of Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's Major League Baseball Draft. Rutschman will need time to develop, so Severino and Sisco will get plenty of opportunities to shine.

Severino is already have a solid year. 

He became the first Orioles catcher to homer three times in a game during the Orioles' 12-11 victory against the Texas Rangers June 4. For the season, Severino is batting .286 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs and a .367 OBP. He has made a strong case for a backup role in this year's Major League Baseball All-Star game. 

"You know, I don't want to say I don't have power. I have power," Severino said. "Not because I hit the three homers, but because when I used to be a young guy, when I hit one homer I'd just try to hit every ball out. I've just learned right now that every time I hit one ball out right now, I stay through the middle and try to get a base hit, and all the homers are coming by themselves."

There was some disappointment among the fan base that Sisco did not make the big-league roster out of spring training despite batting .382 with a double, four home runs and 11 RBIs. He went to Triple-A Norfolk and worked on his game, earning a promotion June 3. 

Sisco hit .289 with a career-high 10 home runs with 10 doubles and 37 RBIs in 44 games with the Tides. Sisco was the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year in 2016, so the team has high expectations for him. 

"I'm definitely excited to be here," he told MASN after getting called up. "Things that were going well, just sticking to my approaching and trying to be consistent day in and day out with preparation and approach in the box and catching-wise. Just pretty much staying to that."

Hyde is also happy with the strides Sisco made in the minors. The Orioles are not simply not going to rush their top prospects onto the major-league roster.

"A little bit of the intangible part is really improving," Hyde said of Sisco. "Throwing the ball a little better. And he needs to continue to work on footwork and accuracy. But that's improved since spring training as well, and we're looking forward to it continuing here. A lot of good things. Obviously he got off to a slow start and started really swinging the bat well and the defense improved."

Sisco made his first start June 6 and went 1 for 2 with a run and a walk in a 4-3 loss to the Rangers. The Orioles have not won a series since April 22-24 against the White Sox.

The road gets tougher this weekend against the Houston Astros, who will start Gerrit Cole June 7 and close out the series with two lefties, Framber Valdez and former Oriole Wade Miley, who is 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA. 

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox