After a 1-for-3 game with an RBI double and walk last night, Chance Sisco is back in the cleanup spot for the Orioles tonight - this time as the designated hitter with Pedro Severino batting sixth and catching.
After a strong spring training, Sisco began this year back at Triple-A and was hitting just .224 at the end of April. But he was confident in how he was seeing the ball and swinging, even though the numbers were not yet there. In May, the Sisco kid hit .345/.437/.713 with five doubles, nine homers and 27 RBIs in 23 games.
On June 3, he was recalled from Norfolk. He is 3-for-14 with two doubles and a homer in five games since his return.
“Obviously, I wanted to be here to start, but that’s not the way it went,” Sisco said this afternoon. “My focus was to stay strong mentally and focus on what I needed to do down there to get better and get back here. Things didn’t start the way I wanted results-wise in April, but the swings were there. I was having good at-bats and hitting balls hard. Just not the best luck. Things turned around and some balls started to fall and also go over the fence. But the whole time just kept the mentality to get better.”
So was it tough to go through a trying April?
“It’s tough in that you always want to have success,” he said. “But it wasn’t tough in the fact of pressing and trying to put up numbers. I just went out every day with the same mindset and believing that day would be the day to turn it around. Staying even keel was important.”
Sisco feels his defense is making some strides this year.
“I feel good back there,” he said. “Lot more comfortable. Continue to work on footwork and receiving, all that type of stuff. Just continue to build on that and it’s going good.”
Sisco said Orioles major league field coordinator/catching instructor Tim Cossins has been very important for him with his defense.
“He’s awesome. He’s always there when you need him and is always throwing out little hints and advice. Very positive and high-energy guy that is fun to be around,” Sisco added.
Sisco was the International League Batter of the Week on May 6 after hitting .565 with five homers and 18 RBIs in a six-game run. Sisco is a career .412 batter (7-for-17) in eight games against Toronto.
Sedlock update: For now, it seems the Orioles feel some recent inactivity will only be a bump in the road for Single-A Frederick right-hander Cody Sedlock. He’s off to a great start for the Keys after two injury-marred seasons, going 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in eight starts.
But Sedlock has not pitched since May 25. He recently felt some elbow discomfort and the team backed off him briefly. But he’s back throwing and threw a live batting practice session yesterday. The current plan is for him to re-enter the rotation sometime after next week’s Carolina League All-Star break.
Taken with the Orioles’ first round pick - No. 27 overall - in 2016 out of the University of Illinois, Sedlock threw well in limited innings that summer for short-season Single-A Aberdeen. But in 2017, he had right elbow and forearm issues and went 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 90 innings for Frederick. Last year, he pitched just 37 innings, dealing early in the season with a shoulder strain and later with thoracic outlet syndrome.
So any injury issues with the right-hander are concerning. But the Orioles are confident he’ll be back soon in the Keys rotation.
Delmarva shoutout: Orioles manager Brandon Hyde began his pregame press briefing today with a shoutout. He wanted to throw props to the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds, who last night clinched first place in the first half in their division of the South Atlantic League. Hyde managed in that league in 2005-06.
“Congratulations to the Delmarva Shorebirds. First-half winners. I was in that league four years (also as a coach), so pretty cool accomplishment for those guys to win the first half,” said Hyde.