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With Triple-A Norfolk, Steve Clevenger adding to club's catching depth

Steve Clevenger wasn’t sent down to Triple-A Norfolk because the Orioles weren’t convinced his bat belonged in the majors. But the 28-year-old Pigtown native is trying to leave no doubt on that front this month with the Tides.

Clevenger is batting .356/.392/.466 with eight doubles and 15 RBIs in 20 games with the International League affiliate, and his average is down from above .400 a week ago.

Not including Monday afternoon’s game, Clevenger has just three hits in the last week. Still, it will have to be his defense that helps him back to the majors.

He has thrown out six of 19 potential base runners in Norfolk, up from his career minor league average of 28 percent. Twenty-eight percent is around the league-average for base stealers, but Clevenger was just three of 20 in the big leagues -- a major reason he was sent down instead of Caleb Joseph.

The Orioles have been spoiled over the years with Matt Wieters. Without a star like Wieters, it’s going to take depth to piece together catching for the remainder of the season.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the rest of the Orioles’ catching depth in the majors and high minors. Judging by what else is in the system, it wouldn’t be shocking if Clevenger was back up sooner rather than later.

MLB

Caleb Joseph -- .141/.235/.225, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, nine of 19 base runners caught.

Nick Hundley -- .229/.240/.302, 1 HR, 7 RBIs, two of 19 base runners caught with Baltimore and San Diego.

Triple-A

Steve Clevenger -- .356/.392/.466, 0 HRs, 15 RBIs, six of 19 base runners caught in Norfolk.

Brian Ward -- .270/.356/.348, 2 HRs, 14 RBIs, nine of 29 base runners caught between Bowie and Norfolk.

Double-A

Michael Ohlman -- .244/.331/.335, 2 HRs, 18 RBIs, 16 of 63 base runners caught.

David Freitas -- .175/.264/.309, 3 HRs, 16 RBIs, eight of 22 base runners caught.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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