By Matt Vensel
10:00 AM EDT, April 21, 2011
When starting shortstop J.J. Hardy went down with an oblique injury a couple of weeks ago, the Orioles turned to Robert Andino and Cesar Izturis to fill the void. Andino has made the most of his opportunity, validating manager Buck Showalter's decision to put him on the Opening Day roster as a utility infielder.
In eight games, Andino is batting .318 and he has a .400 on-base percentage. Both marks are tops on the team. He has also shown flashes of brilliance defensively.
"With Robert, no one has ever questioned his ability," Showalter said before yesterday's 5-4 win over the Twins. "At 27 years old, hopefully, he has started to understand who he is and what he has to do. He's been impressive."
Andino was projected to be the Marlins' shortstop of the future years ago, but Hanley Ramirez ascended to stardom, leaving Andino in limbo. He had an opportunity to seize the Orioles' job two years ago, but couldn't and spent most of 2010 in Triple-A Norfolk. Back in the big leagues and seeing regular playing time (for now), Andino has a chance to show off his skills.
You tell me: Can Robert Andino be an everyday shortstop in the major leagues?
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