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Pedro Severino’s impressive camp for Orioles a possible prelude to another hot start

In a world of wistful optimism over how a 60-game season could turn a team destined for 100-plus losses into a competitive ballclub, a handful of Orioles players showed that they can produce at a much higher level in those shorter spells.

Last year, that applied to Orioles catcher Pedro Severino, who has already been singled out for praise this week by manager Brandon Hyde as having a particularly impressive camp. He added a triple and a home run in Friday’s intrasquad game.

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When looking for an example of how things can be much different over 60 games than 162, look no further than Severino’s first season with the Orioles.

Severino, a late-spring waiver addition from the Washington Nationals, came to the Orioles and immediately impressed. Through the team’s first 60 games, he hit .288 with a .937 OPS and eight home runs while appearing 34 times with 30 starts. That 60th game was a three-homer barrage against the Texas Rangers, one that helped the Orioles hang on for a 12-11 win.

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To that point, Severino had the fourth-highest OPS among catchers in baseball.

The next day, he took a foul ball off the facemask and left the game to be checked for a concussion. Severino batted .229 with a .637 OPS for the remainder of the season, settling for the full year at a .249/.321/.420 clip with 13 home runs.

That drop-off in performance came not only after that foul ball, but coincided with the arrival of Chance Sisco.

Because of the nature of catching, Severino’s best 60-game stretch proved to be one in which he didn’t play the full complement of games. But with Hyde watching Severino lace the ball around Camden Yards, the hope will be that he starts the same way he did last year and doesn’t have time to cool off.

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Around the horn

Non-roster right-hander Cesar Valdez, 35, pitched four scoreless innings and allowed two hits for the white team of Friday’s intrasquad game. Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski allowed five runs in four-plus innings, and was hurt by home runs to Severino and Dilson Herrera.

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