Reports indicated that the Baltimore Orioles would be closely monitoring the waiver wire. They made another claim on Saturday afternoon.
Recent reports out of camp have hinted at the possibility of Mike Elias and the Baltimore Orioles being active before the start of the season in waiver claims. On Saturday afternoon, it was announced that the Orioles have claimed catcher Pedro Severino off waivers from the Washington Nationals.
To make room for Severino on the 40-man roster, Baltimore has designated utility man Stevie Wilkerson for assignment.
Once heralded as the catcher of the future for the Washington Nationals, Severino now finds himself in a Baltimore Orioles uniform after posting a slash line of .168/.254/.247 in 70 games last season. He finished with a wRC+ of 32 and a -0.7 fWAR. What a find!
Severino started the 2018 season by showing a little bit with the bat, hitting .245 in April with a .345 OBP. His May average took a dip to .203 but his OBP remained over .300 after drawing eight walks in 67 plate appearances, but the offense bottomed out after that.
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Noted more for his play behind the plate, the 25-year-old catcher does have one of the better Pop Times in baseball, averaging 1.98 seconds on his throws to second base. Combined with his .70 exchange time, also good enough for 20th quickest time in all of baseball, and 12th strongest arm in the game (all according to Statcast), Severino has gunned down 36% of potential base stealers in his career, a highly respectable amount, well above league average.
The immediate question is..why? It appears that Jesus Sucre will make the active roster after not exercising his opt-out on Friday and while Austin Wynns will likely begin the year on the injured list, he doesn’t figure to be out for very long.
Does this mean Chance Sisco is starting the season in the minor leagues? I’m assuming that is a valid question now, even after his strong spring training performance.
Wilkerson was hitting .222 this spring with a .250 on-base percentage. As for Severino, the Orioles new catcher is hitting .429 in spring with four doubles and a .500 OBP through 14 games.