The five questions that I posed about the Orioles last week were just a launching point.
We can’t stop at Chris Davis, the Rule 5 draft, protected players, non-tender candidates and the shortstop position.
Let’s move behind the plate. Without the risk of taking a foul ball off the groin.
Do the Orioles bring in another veteran catcher?
They signed Jesús Sucre as a free agent on Feb. 5, finally got him into camp after some work visa issues in Venezuela and brought him north. He didn’t make it through the month of April before the Orioles designated him for assignment and outrighted him to Triple-A Norfolk, and he didn’t make it through the end of the season with the Tides.
Sucre was placed on the restricted list July 31 and never came back to the team.
The Orioles selected Pedro Severino off waivers from the Nationals in the final days of spring training, an unexpected move that added a nice layer of confusion to roster projections.
Severino had a breakout season offensively, batting .249/.321/.420 with 13 doubles and 13 home runs in 341 plate appearances. He threw out 13 of 55 runners attempting to steal and had 10 passed balls, which put him in a fourth-place tie for highest total in the majors.
He ranked second in the American League behind the Athletics’ Josh Phegley (15).
The Orioles could again pair Severino with left-handed hitting Chance Sisco, who joined the club from Norfolk on June 3 and batted .210/.333/.395 in 198 plate appearances.
Sisco was 17-for-60 (.283) in 19 games in the first half and 18-for-107 (.168) in 40 games after the All-Star break. He drove in 16 runs in his first 16 games and four in his last 43.
The bat continues to play much better in spring training and the minors.
The Orioles recalled Sisco after he slashed .292/.388/.530 with 10 doubles, 10 home runs, 37 RBIs and 31 runs scored at Norfolk. He led the farm system in homers at the time of his promotion.
Sisco threw out only five of 30 runners attempting to steal per Baseball-Reference.com and three of 28 per STATS Pass - the difference being the latter’s recognition of “pitcher caught stealing” - after going 6-for-34 with the Tides.
Austin Wynns is the other catcher on the 40-man roster, and Martin Cervenka remains in the organization. The Orioles also have Brett Cumberland, part of the trade that sent pitchers Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to the Braves.
I’d expect another catcher to join the organization, even if for depth purposes.
Adley Rutschman won’t be on the opening day roster and likely won’t play in the majors in 2020. He isn’t part of this discussion - except for where I just referenced him in it.