BOSTON - The Orioles have made a surprising change to their 25-man roster today, optioning catcher Caleb Joseph to Triple-A Norfolk and recalling Andrew Susac to replace him. Susac is in tonight’s lineup against the Red Sox.
Joseph broke camp as the projected starter behind the plate, but rookie Chance Sisco has been kept busy by appearing in 30 games. Joseph has played in 24 and is batting .182/.203/.325 with four doubles, two triples, one home run and three RBIs in 77 at-bats. He’s thrown out only four of 19 runners attempting to steal.
Sisco, meanwhile, has thrown out 9 of 18 and is batting .227/.301/.373 with five doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs in 75 at-bats. He’s posted a .333/.435/.615 slash line at home and a .111/.135/.111 line on the road.
The Orioles acquired Susac, 28, from the Brewers on Feb. 2 for a player to be named later or cash. A former top prospect of the Giants, he’s batting .296/.424/.537 with four doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs in 16 games with Norfolk.
Susac is a career .232/.299/.396 hitter in 104 major league games and he’s thrown out 25 percent of runners attempting to steal. He went 1-for-12 in eight games with the Brewers last summer.
Susac has posted a .321 career average with a .950 OPS in 90 plate appearances against left-handers and the Orioles will face three of them in Boston. He’s batting .192 versus right-handers.
Injuries have derailed Susac’s career - he went on the disabled list three times last year and again in April with Norfolk - and he was hospitalized in spring training with a staph infection. He was 6-for-13 in exhibition games. Meanwhile, Joseph batted .324 (12-for-37) with four doubles, one home run and eight RBIs in 15 games.
Susac still has one minor league option remaining.
The Orioles will attempt to halt their 12-game road losing streak tonight as they open their series against the Red Sox.
Tonight is a makeup game after a rainout on Patriots’ Day. The Orioles were swept in the abbreviated series, with the Red Sox outscoring them 20-7.
Kevin Gausman has lowered his ERA to 3.18 in eight starts over 51 innings. He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in five consecutive starts and six of seven.
Gausman is 4-6 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.163 WHIP in 18 career games (13 starts) against the Red Sox and 2-3 with a 3.68 ERA, 1.118 WHIP and one ejection in 10 games (six starts) at Fenway Park.
Mookie Betts has been a problem. He’s 12-for-29 (.414) with one double, three home runs and seven RBIs lifetime against Gausman. J.D. Martinez is 4-for-8.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is 2-for-18 with one home run, Hanley Ramirez is 3-for-17 with two home runs, Christian Vazquez is 0-for-13 with six strikeouts and Eduardo Núñez is 2-for-11.
Left-hander David Price is the first of three left-handers scheduled to face the Orioles in the four-game series. He hasn’t completed the sixth inning in his last three starts and he’s allowed 14 earned runs and 17 total over 14 2/3 innings. He’s walked nine batters and struck out 15.
Price is 12-5 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.090 WHIP in 25 career starts against the Orioles.
Jonathan Schoop is 4-for-26 with one home run. Joseph is 2-for-15, but he’s headed to the minors.
For the Orioles
Trey Mancini LF
Adam Jones CF
Manny Machado SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Chris Davis 1B
Mark Trumbo DH
Danny Valencia 3B
Joey Rickard RF
Andrew Susac C
Kevin Gausman RHP