Catcher Austin Wynns was one of four catchers who had a realistic chance to be on the major league roster coming out of spring trainng, but he ended up being the last of them to actually get to Baltimore.
He arrived in the Orioles clubhouse Sunday morning after Andrew Susac was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday night, but the roster move that would make his arrival in the big leagues official was delayed because Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees was postponed.
He’ll likely be activated before Tuesday night’s game against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Still, Wynns didn’t have to delay the excitement about his first call-up.
“When RJ [Norfolk manager Ron Johnson] pulled me aside, it was unreal,’’ Wynns said. “It was like ‘Wow’ — a dream come true almost. It just happened and I’m here and ready to get it done.”
The Orioles opened the season with Caleb Joseph as the presumed starting catcher and top prospect Chance Sisco as the backup, but Joseph’s inconsistent performance at the plate prompted the club to option him back to Norfolk on May 17 and recall Susac.
Susac, who was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers on Feb. 2, came to the O’s with 104 games of major league experience over four seasons with the San Francisco Giants and Brewers. He played nine games over the past 2 ½ weeks and managed just three hits in 26 at-bats (.115).
“He doesn’t have to show you,’’ Showalter said at the time. “That’s what people like about him. He’s engaged all the time. You can tell he really loves what he’s doing and he’s not going to leave any stone unturned to try to make it happen.
“People like him. Pitchers like him, managers like him that he’s played for. And that comes from a lot of things he brings. He’s got a chance to be a real trustworthy player.”
He was considered to be fourth on the depth chart coming into camp, but now will get an opportunity to show what he can do at the major league level.
Wynns said he wasn’t expecting the call.
“I did not think that at all,’’ he said. “I was just going through my daily routine and just performing. I go day by day, and if I get the call I get the call. It’s crazy how it happened and I'm just happy I’m here.”
Ramirez was designated for assignment 10 days earlier, even though he was batting .254 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 44 games. He was on pace to drive in 94 runs over the full season when he was DFA’d, which might explain the interest from an Orioles team that has struggled to drive in runs all season.