The Orioles have an interesting starting lineup in tonight’s series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, which includes Yamaico Navarro starting at second base.
This could be the beginning of the Orioles taking an extended look at Navarro at the position, and it could signal that the team is about to option struggling second baseman Ryan Flaherty to Triple-A Norfolk.
Navarro was hitting .303/.395/.434 with eight doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs at Triple-A Norfolk, so he definitely deserves a look. While Flaherty has improved defensively, he’s struggled mightly at the plate.
The Orioles will need to make a roster move before Saturday’s game to add starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens, and don’t be surprised if the Orioles option Flaherty to Norfolk instead of Navarro.
Flaherty is hitting just .133/.228/.233 in 29 games and he’s looked extremely frusterday at the plate at times.
Flaherty did lose a fly ball in the sun on Wednesday, but he’s played second base well. He hasn’t been charged with an error this season and is fourth among AL second baseman in range factor per nine innings (4.93).
But this could be an opportunity for the Orioles can see what they have at second between Navarro and Alexi Casilla while giving Flaherty the opportunity to work out his problems at the plate in Triple-A.
Flaherty has also been the recipient of a growing number of boos here at Camden Yards, which is something the organization is sensitive towards, especially considering Flaherty is a young player in the beginning of his major league career.
As a Rule 5 pick last year, Flaherty couldn't be sent to the minors without the Orioles risking losing him. But that's no longer the case in his second year in the organization.