Orioles rookie catcher Chance Sisco was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after Sunday’s 10-4 win over the Miami Marlins, a game in which Sisco was initially in the starting lineup but was scratched because of what manager Buck Showalter said was an illness.
Sisco’s demotion left fellow rookie Austin Wynns as the only catcher on the roster, but veteran Caleb Joseph will be recalled before Tuesday night’s game in Washington from Norfolk, where he is hitting .343 with a pair of home runs in his past 10 games. Joseph will join his brother Corban, an infielder, on the Orioles roster.
Wynns went 1-for-4 Sunday to bring his average to .227 since he was promoted June 3.
While the timing of Sisco’s illness and demotion appeared to be coincidental, the end result is that the team’s highly rated 23-year-old catcher will go back to the minors.
“I’m afraid he’s coming down with [it],” Showalter said. “He hasn’t slept in two or three days. … And just talking to him before the game, his energy level — he was ready to go, just didn’t think it was in his best interest, with the off-day tomorrow. But we’ll see. A lot of factors. That was the principal one. He just hadn’t slept any. Hard enough to play this game when you have [that].”
One of those factors, it turned out, was that he’d be back in the minor leagues working on some things in Norfolk starting Monday.
Sisco became the third Orioles player to sit out with an illness in the past week, with third baseman Danny Valencia and his hot bat out of the lineup last Sunday in Toronto and the same problem causing shortstop Manny Machado to miss a game for the first time this season Monday. Showalter also has dealt with the illness.
Sisco missed out on an opportunity to bat sixth and be a part of the team’s offensive breakout, and won’t be around to see whether it continues. Despite batting .250 in June and collecting hits in four of his past six starts, Sisco is batting just .218/.340/.328 in 141 plate appearances. His bat was meant to be his carrying tool, but hasn’t come around much at the major league level.
His defense started out strong in the majors, with nine of the first 18 stolen base attempts off him unsuccessful, but then opponents rattled off 15 straight successful steals before he ended the run June 9 in Toronto.
Cashner coming back Wednesday
After a clean MRI last week and continued improvement of the lower back injury that landed him on the disabled list last week, right-hander Andrew Cashner threw a successful bullpen session Sunday morning and will return to the rotation Wednesday against the Washington Nationals, Showalter said.
Cashner, who last pitched June 8 against the Blue Jays, has made back-to-back quality starts and is 2-8 with a 4.98 ERA.
Around the horn
Right-hander Chris Tillman (lower back strain) is on schedule to make his first rehab appearance Wednesday for Short-A Aberdeen, Showalter said. … Third baseman Tim Beckham (core muscle surgery) had a hit Saturday in his second rehab game at Double-A Bowie, and is on track to be activated Saturday, the first day he’s eligible. … Showalter said David Hess will return to the mound Tuesday, with right-hander Kevin Gausman pitching Thursday.