Orioles beat writer Eduardo Encina and columnist Peter Schmuck talk about Sunday's game at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. (Video by Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)
Utility infielder Paul Janish is back in camp again with the Orioles, signing a minor league deal with the club for the third straight year.
Janish was the latest addition to the Orioles' big league spring training roster on Saturday, returning to the club after playing 14 games with the Orioles last season.
"I guess it's familiar," Janish said before his first workout of spring with the Orioles on Monday. "Hopefully, things work out and I get to spend some time in the big leagues, right? But being here and having a familiarity with the coaching staff and [manager] Buck [Showalter] in particular, that obviously bodes well. So, I kind of look at it as a pretty good opportunity over the course of the whole season."
Janish remained unsigned all offseason, and a reunion made sense given the fact the Orioles lacked the organizational infield depth that Janish has provided. But Janish said that there was a time this offseason when he didn't think he'd return to the Orioles.
"Yeah, for sure," Janish said. "But fortunately it did, right? It took a little longer than we hoped or anticipated, but obviously I feel fortunate to be here. It's a comfortable place for me, having been here before. It's a good clubhouse. I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things and getting in some games."
In recent weeks, the Orioles have added several veteran infielders on minor league deals to bolster the organizational infield defense, signing corner infielder Chris Johnson, utility man Robert Andino and second baseman Johnny Giavotella.
Aside from providing insurance in case of an injury on the big league club, the addition of several veteran infielders should help the development of the Orioles pitchers in Triple-A by giving them a solid defense behind them.
Janish hit .194/.286/.226 in 14 games with the Orioles last season, but his greatest value in the past has been as an insurance policy as shortstop behind starter J.J. Hardy. But last year, he made nine of his 10 major league starts at third base because Manny Machado was shifted over to shortstop when Hardy was injured by hitting a foul tip off his foot.