Flaherty out to prove his utility to O's

Flaherty out to prove his utility to O's
February 24, 2013, 1:15 am
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They’re called utility players for a reason. And in order to increase his chances of sticking with the Orioles this spring, Ryan Flaherty will try to show just much utility the team could get out of him.

Flaherty will be in right and left field and will attempt to show he can add first base to his other infield positions. No longer a Rule 5 player, Flaherty presents the Orioles with options. The key is how he makes them think of “options” — as in being able to play just about anywhere in the field or as in being easily demoted to the minors?

"Flaherty is going to make it [tough]," manager Buck Showalter said, as reported by mlb.com. "You can tell [he has] a little different look to him this spring. After getting through last year, he's not feeling his way around anymore. He's a real confident guy. He thinks he can do this and help us. I think he might be right."

Flaherty, who hit .216 last year, accepts that he must battle for a roster spot.

"I feel like, for me, it's always going to be that way," he said. "That's always the mentality I am going to have. ... You have to win a job and just control what you can control and the rest is out of your hands.”

Part of what is out of his control is the health and effectiveness of Brian Roberts. If Roberts proves ready to reassume his starting job at second base, the path gets bumpier for Flaherty.

Maybe he can pitch, too?