The old proverb says, “One man’s loss is another man’s gain.”
In yesterday’s Spring Training game between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, Wilson Betemit of the O’s went down in the 5th inning with an injury. After the game it was announced Betemit suffered a torn PCL in his right knee.
Betemit will be out an estimated 6-8 weeks, but that might be to the benefit of Steve Pearce.
Entering this past offseason, one of the frequently asked questions of the Birds is whether Chris Davis is ready to assume the role of everyday first baseman or will the Orioles acquire a first baseman and allow Davis to resume the role as the team’s designated hitter.
This spring, along with Betemit and Davis, the Orioles have experimented with a few different players at first base. Including Travis Ishikawa, who the O’s signed as a free agent on Dec. 19. Ishikawa however, was signed to a minor league deal. Pearce is the other player capable of playing first.
Pearce spent time with three major league teams last season, starting off in Baltimore, before eventually being claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros, finally being purchased by the New York Yankees. The Orioles reclaimed Pearce off waivers on Sept. 29.
Prior to the 2012 season, Pearce also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates between 2007 and 2011.
In his major league career, Pearce has played in 90 games at first — the most at any his five positions. In those games he’s committed just five errors in 715 chances.
Pearce has come out of virtually nowhere this spring to lead the Orioles in home runs (6) and RBIs (15).
In his 22 games he’s posted a .368 average — the highest among Orioles to play in 20+ games.
Opening Day is exactly one week away. It should be interesting to see who manager Buck Showalter decides to keep on his major league roster and who he decides to send to the O’s minor league affiliates.