Norfolk Tides Opening Week Review
The Norfolk Tides, the AAA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, started their 2014 season off on the wrong foot. The Tides dropped their opener, won the second game and lost the next four. Overall the Tides went 3-5, not including Saturday’s and Sunday’s games.
Tuesday’s game was highlighted with recent free agent pitcher Suk-min Yoon’s professional baseball debut. Yoon was named as the Tides’ fourth starter in the rotation by manager Ron Johnson, joining Kevin Gausman, Steve Johnson, T.J. McFarland, and Mike Wright. Yoon, making his professional debut, had a rough outing. In 2.1 innings pitched, Yoon allowed 11 hits, 9 runs, all earned, 1 walk, and 0 strikeouts, throwing 57 pitches, 39 of which were strikes. The Tides would go on to lose that game 10-5 to the Gwinnett Braves, Atlanta’s AAA affiliate.
Despite Yoon’s pitching performance, there were some good parts about the Tides’ opening week. Catcher Caleb Joseph hit his first AAA homerun of his career. Other Tides players showed some early promise as well. In 6 games played, second baseman Jemile Weeks is hitting .400 with a .458 OBP and 2 triples. Outfielder Quiten Berry is hitting .357 with one homerun in 6 games as well.
From the pitching side, Kevin Gausman and Mike Wright, two of the Orioles top pitching prospects, have looked good early on. Gausman has 0-0 record in two starts and a 2.08 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched, racking up 10 strikeouts. Wright has appeared in one game thus far, in which he started. Wright has 0 Era in 5 innings pitched, recording 5 strikeouts, allowing 5 hits and 1 walk. Going forward, Gausman will be an interesting player to watch if the back end of Orioles rotation, Chen, Gonzolez, and Norris, can’t seem to settle down and produce quality starts.