Baltimore Orioles Add Cael Brockmeyer to Replace Jesus Sucre
The Baltimore Orioles catching competition gets a bit strange as Jesus Sucre is unable to leave Venezuela and Cael Brockmeyer is added to the spring training roster
A week ago, I broke down the catching competition we’ll see in Sarasota. When I wrote that piece, the Baltimore Orioles had six backstops with spring training invites. There are still six catchers in Florida right now, but instead of Jesus Sucre being among them, he’s been momentarily replaced by Cael Brockmeyer.
If you’ve never heard of Brockmeyer, you’re not alone. The Orioles signed him to a minor league deal at the end of January, which went widely unnoticed.
Brockmeyer was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 16th round of the 2013 amateur draft and has spent the past six years between the Cubs’ and Dodgers’ systems, making him the latest Orioles’ addition to have ties to manager Brandon Hyde and catching guru Tim Cossins.
Brockmeyer has actually been a serviceable hitter, albeit with limited power and speed, though neither is uncommon among catchers. Coming off a combined .304/.378/.415 effort between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, Brockmeyer has a career .729 OPS with 35 home-runs in over 1,500 career plate appearances.
His career 25.3% strikeout rate is a bit higher than you’d like to see for a 27-year-old in the high minors, and his career caught-stealing percentage is an awfully low 24.4%, but he’s a big body behind the plate (listed at 6’5″, 235) and has plenty of experience to be a minor-league depth piece.
The main question here is when Sucre will make an appearance in Sarasota.
Like Brockmeyer, Sucre was signed to a minor league contract by the Orioles just weeks ago, but has had trouble getting out of Venezuela due to issues with his visa.
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As such, the nameplate on Sucre’s assigned locker has reportedly been removed, though this is almost certainly insignificant and it’ll be placed on a new locker once Sucre is able to make his way to the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training complex.
When that actually happens is to be determined. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde spoke at the Orioles’ complex yesterday, acknowledging Sucre’s absence without having much other information on it, other than that he hoped and expected to see the catcher in the near future.
We’re hoping the same thing, as Sucre will provide a veteran presence in camp that really isn’t existent, especially behind the plate.
For the time being, Carlos Perez is the standing veteran in camp, while Austin Wynns and Chance Sisco are younger, but have spent plenty of time working with O’s pitchers. Andrew Susac is trying to work his way back onto the 40-man roster after being designated for assignment earlier this offseason, and Martin Cervenka is trying to make a name for himself with the new brass.
Maybe Hyde and Cossins can pull a rabbit out with this group. Expectations are high for Sisco and I like Wynns’ defense, but there’s a lot of work to do here.