Orioles option catcher Chance Sisco to Triple-A Norfolk for second time in past month

The Orioles optioned rookie catcher Chance Sisco back to Triple-A Norfolk after Friday’s loss to the Texas Rangers, continuing the club’s game of musical chairs with its catchers.

The team didn’t announce a corresponding move, but fellow rookie Austin Wynns would be the most likely replacement for Sisco on the 25-man roster.

The move marks the second time that Sisco, one of the Orioles’ top prospects, has been demoted in the past month. He was optioned to Triple-A on June 17 and returned 11 days later.

This time, Sisco was with the big league club for just 16 games. In 11 games, including eight starts, he went 3-for-30 with 12 strikeouts and just one walk.

Sisco is hitting just .195/.306/.289 with two homers and 16 RBIs this season. He has gone 31 games and 98 plate appearances since his last homer, and has just four extra-base hits over that stretch. He is hitting .168 over his past 48 games.

Sisco opened the season throwing out nine of his first 18 potential base stealers, then allowed 15 straight stolen bases. He threw out both base runners attempting to steal against him during this last Orioles stint and is 12-for-38 on the season.

Sisco’s first demotion came at a strange time, as he seemed to be emerging from a funk, collecting hits in four of six starts.

Wynns, who had a 23-day major league stint last month, is just 4-for-30 in his nine games since returning to Norfolk.

Caleb Joseph has retaken the starting-catcher job, starting 16 of the past 24 games behind the plate. Joseph, who had a three-run double as part of a two-hit game Friday, is now 8-for-20 over his past seven games.

Joseph was optioned to Norfolk in mid-May after starting the season hitting just .182 in his first 24 games. He returned when Sisco was first optioned and is hitting .245 since in 16 games since.

“He’s been pretty solid since he got back,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Joseph. “He’s been catching real well, not that he wasn’t necessarily before. As tough as it was for him to go down there for a while, I think it was good for him.

“I know what he’s capable of doing,” Showalter added. “He had some really good at-bats when he came back. It just seems like he’s back in that mode. He’s come a long way. It’s so tough in the major leagues to carry any posit​i​on that is struggling offensively. I don’t care how good you are defensively. Caleb is aware of that. It’s good to see him making some contributions.”

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