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Howie Kendrick

How will the Orioles fill their utility role?

How will the Orioles fill their utility role?

As many holes as the Orioles still must fill this offseason with less than four weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota, Fla. — and all the focus centering on the club’s dire need for starting pitching — there’s another pressing need that hasn’t been discussed nearly as much but still bears importance.

For the past six seasons, Ryan Flaherty has played an important role as the club’s utility man, a player who can come off the bench and play all around the infield, both corner outfield spots and even assume the emergency catcher role. That provided immense value, and in some ways compensated for a bat that compiled a career .215/.284/.355 batting line.

In recent...