2009 In Review: Shortstop

Cesar Izturis – .256/.294/.328, 33 R, 14 doubles, 4 triples, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 12 SB, 412 PA

Izturis was signed over the offseason to a two year contract to be our starting shortstop. The Orioles signed him expecting a light hitting, great defensive shortstop and thats exactly what he gave us. His defense was the best we’ve seen since Mike Bordick left. Even though he doesn’t hit for anything other than a decent average, hes still a step up from the Freddie Bynum/Brandan Fahey, Luis Hernandez group from 2008. Izturis also showed off some speed, stealing 12 bases and hes a good baserunner. He was on the DL for about a month in June, but aside from that it looks like a good signing. Obviously hes not the long term answer at short but you could certainly do worse, as the Orioles have proven.

2010 Prognosis: Unless the Orioles trade for a young shortstop that could stick with the team for the long haul (which I hope we’re able to do), I see Izturis staying put as the starter. You know what hes going to give you – above average defense and an average between .250 – .260 with no power and not much patience. He’ll be 30 all of next season so I wouldn’t expect much drop off. If we do trade for another shortstop, Izturis would be an excellent back up shortstop that could fill in defensively at third and second if needed.

Robert Andino – .222/.274/.288, 31 R, 7 doubles, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 SB, 215 PA

The Orioles traded for Andino right before opening day, dealing Hayden Penn to the Florida Marlins for him. In limited duty hes proven that he can’t hit a lick and hes still improving defensively. At the start of the year he was a little shaky out there at shortstop, but he got better as the year went along. The one thing I will say is that he filled in admirably for Cesar Izturis when he was on the disabled list. Getting regular at bats for about a month he had an OPS around .600, as opposed to .562 overall. That still doesn’t cut it, but it shows some potential if he was to get regular at bats.

2010 Prognosis: Unfortunately for Andino, the Orioles can’t afford to give him regular at bats. With Izturis on the roster and the way we’re trying to become competitive in the AL East, I don’t think he’ll ever have a big part on this team. Even if we don’t acquire a shortstop in the offseason, I think we could do good to upgrade the back up for the position. I think the best Andino can do for the Orioles in 2010 would be in the same role he filled in 2009. If not with us, he could probably find a job in the same capacity with some other team.

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