With the Orioles slated to face the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day just one week away, the search for the team’s second baseman is nearing an end.
The best assumptions to fill the hole at second are Brian Roberts, who has played in an O’s uniform in just 115 games since the start of the 2010 season. Alexi Casilla, who played middle infield for the Minnesota Twins between 2006 and 2012. And Ryan Flaherty, who served as a utility man for the Baltimore in 2012.
Roberts has played in 14 Spring Training games accumulating a .357 batting average with a home run, 4 RBIs, while drawing 4 walks and stealing 3 bases.
Casilla, who the Orioles acquired off waivers from the Twins on November 2, 2012, is another candidate for the role.
Casilla has appeared in 15 games this spring. He has posted a .289 average, with 2 doubles and 2 stolen bases. However, along with his 10 Ks, he has yet to homer and has yet to drive in a run.
Flaherty started 20 games at second for Buck Showalter and the Birds in 2012. The most games at any position for the 26-year old.
Flaherty is almost guaranteed to make the squad based just on his position flexibility alone. This spring in 23 games, Flaherty is batting .262, with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs.
The battle for the role of second baseman may not be settled this spring. It could carry over to the regular season, where Showalter and the O’s will wait and see who steps up to win the job when the games actually matter.
The Orioles will open the 2013 season in Tampa with a 3 p.m. start on April 2. The Opening Day starter has yet to be named for the O’s.