Despite the talk, Ryan Flaherty goes into spring training not believing he’ll be the Orioles’ starting second baseman this season. Jemile Weeks can play second. So can Alexi Casilla, and Jonathan Schoop is regarded as the second baseman of the future.
“I’m ready to go down there and get going. They have a lot of guys they brought in,” Flaherty said at last Saturday’s FanFest.
Flaherty was kept by the Orioles in 2012 as a Rule 5 draft pick and last season was with the team for nearly the whole year.
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He batted .224 with 10 home runs in 87 games and played a nice second base.
Brian Roberts is gone now, and the Orioles didn’t pursue a big name second baseman, so it looks as if it’s Flaherty’s job. He enjoyed working with Roberts.
“He was around all the time—even when he was hurt. He helped me a ton,” Flaherty said.
“When you develop a relationship with someone and all of a sudden they’re gone, it’s tough. It’s part of the business. It’s part of the game. The show goes on,” Flaherty said.
In his first two years, Flaherty played irregularly.
“Every player wants to get everyday at-bats,” Flaherty said. “You have to earn that.”
Flaherty stayed in Baltimore and hit regularly with B.J. Surhoff and Mike Bordick. Now he’s in Florida ready for spring training to start.
“It’s a great opportunity. You have to take advantage of it,” Flaherty said.
NOTES: The Orioles have reached agreement on a minor league contract with Matt LaPorta. The former Indians first baseman, who was a first-round draft choice in 2007, does not get an invitation to spring training.
LaPorta, who last played in the major leagues in 2012, has a lifetime batting average of .238.
-Luis Ayala, who was with the Orioles in 2012 and traded to Atlanta in Apr. 2013, has reached agreement on a minor league deal with the Nationals.