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Quick early trust between pitchers, Orioles' Jesús Sucre 'shows we're going in the right direction'

Orioles catcher Jesús Sucre is already earning praise from the pitching staff and manager Brandon Hyde for the way he handles a game behind the plate. His game-calling ability was on display in David Hess' no-hit bid Monday and again Tuesday as Andrew Cashner turned in his best start in nearly a year.

"It shows we're going in the right direction — that's trust," Hyde said. "Suc has obviously earned that already, which is phenomenal. The guy has been in the big leagues for a while, and they trust him because of what he puts into it. They know that he's trying to put a zero up every single inning. He's living and dying with them out there, so pitchers get that feeling about working with their battery-mate, positive things are going to happen."

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The Orioles selected the contract of right-hander Matt Wotherspoon for the series finale in Toronto, and designated reliever Pedro Araujo for assignment just a week short of his Rule 5 roster requirements being fulfilled.

Sucre — signed as a minor league free agent after he declined the Tampa Bay Rays’ outright assignment in the offseason — reported late to spring training after he dealt with visa problems getting out of Venezuela. But once he reported, Sucre went about getting to know his pitchers quickly. Hyde said that came naturally.

"We knew about him already from Tampa, the Tampa guys," Hyde said. "I knew that he always had a really good relationship going with the pitchers and he had been known for that. He stepped right in, and that's what we saw. Pitchers immediately started to trust him, once they started throwing to him and having conversations with him. I think the flow was really good there, and Suc, they know that he is 100 percent behind them.

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“He's going to be positive when he needs to be, he's going to kick a guy in the rear when that needs to happen also. But the dugout talk’s real good, the communication in the field is really good, the energy level that both him and [Pedro Severino] have is awesome, so we're fortunate."

Considering the Orioles entered camp with catchers Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns on the roster, the duo of Sucre and Severino, a waiver claim late in spring training, was an unlikely one. But it's now one that's helped the Orioles to their hot start, and the fact that the catchers are so in tune with their pitchers and the game plans has a lot to do with that.

Manny Machado is appealing a one-game suspension after he made contact with a home plate umpire, according to MLB.

"We have a real thorough game report going in," Hyde said. "Our pitching guys, our video guys, they do a great job of putting together a plan on how we're going to attack their hitters. Suc is a part of that, and Suc does a great job, as well as Sevvy, of studying it, and talking about it, and being engaged in it, and they took it in last night."

Cashner is one of several Orioles pitchers to speak highly of Sucre.

"I think he’s really known for his defense and his glove," Cashner said. "He’s a really smart catcher. It’s taken us a little time. He knows what I can do and what I can’t do. But I think he’s done a really good job back there so far.”

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