Outfielder Joey Rickard jump-started his season for the Tides on Friday with a 5-for-5 effort in their 5-2 win over Buffalo at Harbor Park. Rickard, 26, entered the game batting .250 (7-for-28), but left it batting .364 with an .899 OPS while walking six times against five strikeouts with a pair of steals. Rickard is having the best season out of anyone in the outfield rotation there, including DJ Stewart, Michael Saunders, Alex Presley and Jaycob Brugman.
Outfielders Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays are having productive seasons for the Baysox through the first two weeks. Each entered Saturday with three home runs on the season, with Hays batting .218 with 19 strikeouts in 55 at-bats while Mullins was batting .264 with an .832 OPS and seven extra-base hits. Fellow outfield prospect Ademar Rifaela is also starting well, entering Saturday batting .310 in his first taste of Double-A after winning Carolina League MVP last year.
Infielder Preston Palmeiro is using big games to boost the .323/.364/.419 batting line he carried into Saturday's game. The son of former Orioles star Rafael Palmeiro had hits in nine of 16 games through Friday, but seven of those were multihit games and four were three-hit showings. He's doing it all while playing second base after being drafted and developed so far as a first baseman.
The six-man Shorebirds rotation, featuring Cameron Bishop, Michael Baumann, DL Hall, Brenan Hanifee, Zac Lowther and Matthias Dietz, had a 2.32 ERA in 15 starts entering Saturday. Bishop and Baumann are leading the way through three starts, with the left-handed Bishop striking out 17 against four walks with a 1.89 ERA and Baumann fanning a team-high 24 with seven walks while posting a 1.69 ERA.