Robert Andino, who was traded to the Mariners yesterday, has been the Orioles “super sub” for the past couple of years, and spent much of this past season as the starter at second. Andino’s by no means an all-star, and batted only .211 this year, but he played second, short, third, left and center, all while flashing some impressive leather. Andino became a favorite of Orioles fans and Red Sox haters when he had the game-winning hit in the last game of 2011, the win that helped knock the Red Sox out of the playoffs.
He is eligible for arbitration, so the Orioles would likely have non-tendered him had they not traded him to Seattle.
Ryan Flaherty’s another super-sub type; he was a Rule 5 guy who not only stuck with the team all year, he also played every position except center, pitcher and catcher, and played well enough to be on the postseason roster.
Earlier this year, Omar Quintanilla had become one of my favorite Mets just from the way he fields his position. The Orioles picked him up in July and he was a revelation – at first. He fielded, he hit like crazy at Camden Yards… and then he cooled off, and then he stopped playing. I doubt he’ll be back in 2013, but I enjoyed his season so much I started an Omar Quintanilla player collection (4 cards and counting).
Manny Machado… What do you say about him, other than (to paraphrase the movie “Clerks”) he wasn’t even supposed to be here… and “here” could be either Baltimore or third base. Machado is a shortstop who was the third overall pick of the 2010 draft, and was the #11 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America. When he was called up and put in at third base, a position he hadn’t played much in the minors, it seemed like a risky move… but the kid came through and made some unbelievable plays in the field. While his hitting wasn’t quite at a Trout level, it was still plenty good enough for a kid fresh out of AA.
Steve Tolleson is another favorite Oriole who’s already gone. He became a minor league free agent and signed with the White Sox. There’s no particular reason for my liking him, I just latched on to him for some reason… I guess because I’m partial to infielders and underdogs.
By the way, Steve is the son of former Major Leaguer Wayne Tolleson: