The Orioles opened their Spring Training schedule on Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
The Baltimore Orioles are hoping their 3-0 start is a sign of things to come for the 2013 season.
The O’s opened their Spring Training schedule on Feb. 23 against the Minnesota Twins. Entering the 7th inning Baltimore trailed 3-2. After a one-out double by Yamaico Navarro, Jonathan Schoop tied the game with a single. In the 8th, Russ Canzler drew a lead-off walk and newcomer Trayvon Robinson hit a two-run home run that eventually won the game, 5-3.
The next day the Orioles traveled to Dunedin, Fla. Spring Training home of the Toronto Blue Jays. The game was tied 3-3 until the 8th inning. Robinson once again was a difference maker, leading off the inning with a double. Jason Pridie would hit a ground-rule double to score Robinson. Pridie then advanced to third on an error by Blue Jay shortstop Ryan Goins. Navarro singled in Pridie for the eventual game-winning RBI. Toronto scored one run in the bottom half of the inning and left two runners on in the 9th, O’s won 5-4.
The famous Abbott and Costello skit “Who’s on First” declares a guy named “Who” is on first and a guy named “What” is on second. But for the 2013 Baltimore Orioles, it’s not a question of what being on second but who? Are you following along?… Good!
Let’s begin then.
Four years ago in 2009 the answer to the question “who plays second for the Orioles?” was an easy one, Brian Roberts. Between 2003 and 2009 Roberts’ name might as well have been printed on Oriole lineup cards leading off and playing second base. However since the end of the 2009 season, Roberts has been plagued by injuries (perhaps the most absurd being his self-inflicted concussion) and has played in just 115 games for the O’s.
Roberts has hit at least 50 doubles in three seasons as an Oriole. (AP Photo)
Manager Buck Showalter will have a few options to fill the hole at second base. Roberts, now 35-years-old, is expected to be completely healthy for the start of spring training. However this past offseason the Orioles claimed Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Minnesota Twins and Ryan Flaherty, who started 20 games at second for the birds in 2012, is also on the roster.