Prior to the start of the season the Orioles traded under achieving pitcher Hayden Penn to the Marlins for a back up shortstop named Robert Andino. At the time Orioles fans were just happy to get rid of Penn not knowing who this Andino guy was. Three months into the season, Robert Andino is now a household name in Baltimore.
On June 8th starting shortstop Cesar Izturis was placed on the disabled list leaving what many people thought would be a huge hole at shortstop until his return. Prior to the injury the Orioles had only won two games with Izturis in the lineup so his injury looked to be disastrous to the Orioles hopes of crawling back toward .500
Robert Andino, who took over for Izturis, now has people, including myself, clamoring for him to remain the starter even when Izturis returns. The Orioles acquired Cesar Izturis for his glove, but Robert Andino has proven to be just an adequate of fielder as Izturis
Despite both of them being fantastic fielders, keeping Robert Andino as the starter is beneficial to the Orioles in many ways. First, Andino- 25- is four years younger then Izturis and seems to have no problem playing every day. Secondly, Izturis has some trade value and dumping his 2.4 million dollar salary would free some money up for the Orioles to sign other players. Andino is only costing the Orioles 400,000 dollars and don’t think they aren’t aware of this. Last, Andino has shown that his bat seems to have more “pop” then Izturis’. While Izturis is hitting .260 to Andino’s .255 average, Andino has only 1 less extra base hit then Izturis despite having 56 less at bats. Both players were acquired for their glove not their bat, but the fact that Andino has some pop should not go unnoticed.
The old adage in sports says that a player should not lose his spot to an injury and therefore should be given his starting job back upon his return. In most cases I agree with that, but Baltimore fans need to look no further then Joe Flacco to see what happens when this adage isn’t held to letter of the law. If the player who takes over is better then the starter then he should remain in there regardless of the fact he went in there due to an injury.
I do believe that Izturis will get his job back, but I have been impressed with Andino and quite frankly, I want him to start . I think many other fans feel the same way.
Robert Andino has done nothing to play his way out of the starting lineup and he looks like he might be able to be the Orioles shortstop of the present and the future.
Who would have thought this when the Orioles acquired him for Hayden Penn before the season started?
I know I didn’t, but I know I want to see more Robert Andino!!