O’s Bring Back Izturis

The Orioles re-signed SS Cesar Izturis to a one year, $1.5 million contract with incentives that could add another $1.75 million.

Izturis returns for a bench role to back up new shortstop JJ Hardy. Hardy missed 61 games with an injury last year and only played in 115 games in 2009 so a decent backup is a nice insurance policy in case he misses more time in 2011. We know Izturis can’t hit but thats not as big a deal for someone that should only play sparingly. His defense is good and this assures that there won’t be a drop off in the field when hes in there. He can also back up Brian Roberts at second base. The only problem I see with this is that we just traded for a utility man in the Hardy deal, Brendan Harris. Harris doesn’t provide much offensively either and I think it would be a waste to carry two no hit infielders on the bench. He still has an option so he could start the year at AAA Norfolk but I’m sure it will all play out in spring training. A bench of Izturis, Harris, Craig Tatum, and Nolan Reimold doesn’t give us many pinch hit opportunities and there would be a big drop off whenever a starter doesn’t play. Hopefully something happens where theres another bat added for the bench. So I don’t have a problem with the Izturis signing in general, I think its a mistake if both him and Harris are on the roster at the same time.

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