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Orioles notes: Wynns optioned to minors, leaving Sisco, Susac to vie for backup catcher job

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Despite Orioles manager Buck Showalter's pregame proclamation that defense would be a primary consideration for deciding which of Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns and Andrew Susac would be their backup catcher, Wynns was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after Sunday's game, removing the strong defensive backstop from consideration.

"I think what happens is the way Austin is, he's just pushing all the time," Showalter said. "You know what you're getting out of him, effort. It's one of those things now where he needs to take a deep breath and then get ready to start the season in Norfolk. He needs to get some consistent at-bats and start catching and relax a little bit.

"I think he felt coming in here that's probably where he's going to go, but then you start seeing the way spring training goes, you never know. There's some things that he's done that aren't characteristic of how good he can be, and I think he just needs to get down there and take a breath."

Wynns, 27, was batting .222 with a .947 OPS and a pair of home runs in the Grapefruit League. Before Sunday's 5-4 loss to the New York Mets, Showalter described the catcher competition in pretty even terms.

"We've got some good people to pick from, and I like where we are with it," Showalter said. "There are guys down below that we like, too. I think there's really not a bad call to make there. All three of them present something that could potentially be good for us this year."

Davis feels good

First baseman Chris Davis came through his return from an elbow injury that's kept him out most of this month, and will likely go to minor league camp at Twin Lakes Park to get more at-bats Monday.

"He felt good — he said he felt good," Showalter said. "We'll see how he feels in the morning. If he feels how he did in the game, he'll go over there and take some at-bats.”

Davis went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in his return, and had to make one throw on a ground ball in which he tried to start a double play at second base.

Showalter said Joseph and possibly outfielder Colby Rasmus would join him.

Around the horn

Reliever Mychal Givens and Brad Brach, who pitched Sunday, will likely go again as part of their routine back-to-back days to get ready for the season. ... Rule 5 left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. will start Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. ... Center fielder Cedric Mullins had two singles and two stolen bases Sunday. Infielder Danny Valencia homered in a three-run eighth inning.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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