Andino ready to step aside for Roberts

The Baltimore Sun

The news that Brian Roberts was headed to Double-A Bowie to begin a 20-day injury rehab assignment added some urgency to the questions about the impact of his eventual return to the active major league roster.

Roberts isn't looking that far ahead. He still needs to prove to himself that he's ready to play baseball on a regular basis -- which is what the rehab assignment is all about.

Robert Andino, who moved into the starting job at second base and emerged as a legitimate everyday player, said he isn't worried about the possibility of being displaced by a guy who was one of the top leadoff hitters in baseball when he was forced into a year in personal and professional limbo by the effects of a pair of concussions.

"I know when Brian gets back, he’s just going to make this team much better, so I ain’t worried about it,’’ Andino said Tuesday. “I’m here to win, so whatever my role is when he comes back, I’m all for it.”

To Andino, who has worked hard to master the position, it's just a matter of paying manager Buck Showalter back for the opportunity to establish himself as a major league regular. He said he's comfortable with whatever role helps the Orioles build on their surprising success this season.

“It’s just knowing that Buck has trust in me,’’ he said. “That means a lot to me. I take that personally, and I go out there and try not to let nobody down. ... Of course, he’s the one that gave me the chance. He put his trust in me and let me go out there and play, so whatever I have to do, I’m here for the team.”

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