Orioles catcher Chance Sisco was struggling in many facets when he was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk earlier this month. Now that he's back, he hopes the time used back in a familiar place simply enjoying the game carries back into the big leagues.
Outfielder Dariel Alvarez is putting together another interesting season for the Tides, entering the weekend batting .291/.318/.380 with just one home run, but had 16 doubles in 53 games. The lack of early power is curious, considering 13 of his 16 home runs came before the All-Star break in 2015, and 14 of 15 came before the break in 2014. His only home run came on May 16.
The fact that Caleb Joseph, who fell to his knees for several moments after he was hit by Travis Shaw's foul ball in the eighth inning remained in the game quelled concern, but hours later Joseph was in an area hospital undergoing a surgical procedure for a testicular injury.
Most of the intrigue entering the season for the Tides comes in the crowded outfield. Christian Walker, one of the Orioles' top hitting prospects, is set to be the everyday left fielder as he learns that position. Xavier Avery, who was the last cut from the major league team after a great spring, will play center field. They're joined by outfielders Henry Urrutia, Dariel Alvarez, L.J. Hoes, and Alfredo Marte.
The Orioles announced Tuesday that much of their minor league coaching staff will remain intact this season, with longtime Norfolk Tides manager Ron Johnson (fifth season) and Bowie Baysox manager Gary Kendall (sixth season) back for another year.
The Orioles added four players to their expanded roster before Tuesday¿s game, recalling right-hander Tyler Wilson, first baseman Christian Walker, outfielder Junior Lake and right-handed reliever Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk.
Triple-A Norfolk's season could end tonight in the International League semifinals and the Orioles are still deciding whether they will add more players to the expanded roster if the Tides are eliminated.
First baseman Christian Walker entered the final weekend of the regular season with an International League-leading 13 home runs since the All-Star break, with three in six games before Friday. He homered twice Thursday in a 6-2 loss to Gwinnett, raising his average to .260 on the season with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs.