Flaherty to play Dominican winter ball

Flaherty to play Dominican winter ball
November 2, 2012, 8:15 am
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Ryan Flaherty spent lots of time on the Orioles’ bench watching other guys play in 2012. He hopes to play more in 2013.

To help Flaherty play more, the Orioles have recommended that their Rule 5 draft choice go to the Dominican Republic for winter ball.

It will be Flaherty’s first time playing winter ball. As manager Buck Showalter explained during the season, it would help make up for some of Flaherty’s lost at-bats during the season.

As a Rule 5 draft choice, Flaherty couldn’t be sent to the minor leagues without being offered back to the Chicago Cubs, who didn’t keep him on the 40-man roster.

Flaherty, who played in 77 games and batted .216, will try to snatch the second base job. That may be the only position truly open at spring training. While Flaherty can play the other infield positions as well as left and right, second is his best spot. He’s also the emergency third catcher.

He’ll no longer be on scholarship in 2013, so he’ll have to make the team on his own merits. If he doesn’t make the team, Flaherty will have to go to Triple-A Norfolk.

Flaherty will leave for the Dominican after Thanksgiving.