SARASOTA, Fla. – For the moment, it’s come down to Conor Jackson and Steve Pearce. One major decision remains for manager Buck Showalter, and that’s the final bench player.
Once Wilson Betemit suffered a sprained knee on Monday, it opened up a spot for one of the non-roster outfielders that remained. Jackson and Pearce, who both play first base, too are the final two left.
Manager Buck Showalter said on Saturday morning that he expected to have a decision after today’s game.
“I’m in the dark, just waiting to hear any news,” Pearce said..
“I’ve been in this situation before with the Pirates so I know how to handle it.
Pearce entered the game with a .341 average, six home runs and 17 RBIs.
“I’ve had a good spring so far. Put together good at-bats, played some good defense. Now the decision is up to them,” Pearce said.
“It’s definitely tough. You want to be able to start making arrangements for the season. I have a family now and just for their sake, too. I think it is more nerve-wracking for them than it is for me.”
Jackson, who is batting .302 with three home runs and six RBIs doesn’t have a clue, either.
“'ve played long enough in the game to know how it works. At this point, there's nothing I can do except sit here and wait for that call in the office. It's either good news or bad news. It's a stressful situation, but it's part of the game," Jackson said.
“It was kind of like two heavyweights battling against each other. We were going back and forth. He's had a pretty good spring. It's one of those situations where, may the best man win it and go from there. But on the flip side, a lot happens during the season and I've been on teams where the 25-man roster starts one way and ends up a different way within six weeks.”
Last year, the Orioles used 52 players, and that’s something that Jackson likes.
“One of my main factors in choosing this team was the fact that they had so many guys and they used so many guys, and especially guys like me, kind of older guys, and they give them some opportunities, so that was the main reason I chose to come here."