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Orioles add Luis Sardiñas to infield mix for series opener against Tigers

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Infielder Luis Sardiñas, whose contract was selected Tuesday from Triple-A Norfolk, hopes to show the Orioles he can contribute in all facets of the game as he returns to the major leagues Tuesday.

"I'd like to show them that I can help the team win, on the defense, on the offense, every single day," Sardiñas said through team interpreter Ramón Alarcón. "That is my main goal — to help the team win. ... I played a little bit of second base in Norfolk. They moved me around the infield. I really took advantage of that. I'm ready to play wherever they put me and help the team on the defensive side."

Sardiñas, a switch-hitter, takes over at second base Tuesday after Tim Beckham played there Saturday and Sunday in the absence of Jonathan Schoop, who is on the 10-day disabled list with an oblique strain.

Beckham moved back to third base as the Orioles deployed Danny Valencia at designated hitter against left-hander Francisco Liriano, with Engelb Vielma as the bench infielder. The Orioles had been operating with a short bench without Schoop, but added an infielder without losing a reliever because Chris Tillman was listed in the bullpen on the lineup card Tuesday.

Sardiñas was added to an empty spot on the 40-man roster and takes the 25-man roster spot vacated by David Hess on Monday. Hess was recalled Sunday but didn't pitch a game.

“We kind of targeted him,” manager Buck Showalter said of Sardiñas, who re-signed as a minor league free agent this year. “He was with us a little bit last year and there wasn't room for us breaking camp. We had some options. … Luis is a versatile guy, kind of neutral splits, left and right, can play multiple positions. Something that we need.”

Sardiñas, 24, was acquired in a waiver trade from the San Diego Padres last spring and immediately outrighted off the roster, and has played in parts of four major league seasons with the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres.

A career .229 major league hitter, he has hit .288 with a .690 OPS during his minor league career. Last year for Norfolk, he batted .319 with a .767 OPS, though he's hitting just .200 (6-for-30) with three extra-base hits this season.

He’s viewed outside the organization as a capable defender who can handle any infield position well, though his bat lags behind that. He’ll take whatever opportunity he can get to re-establish himself in the majors, though.

"It feels like the first time, my call-up," Sardiñas said. "I'm very thankful, very happy to be here. I'm very thankful for this great opportunity that's been presented, and really honored to wear the Orioles jersey."

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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