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Andino won't sweat what he can't control

Andino won't sweat what he can't control

Andino won't sweat what he can't control
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Last spring, Robert Andino would scour websites and media outlets, keeping up with all opinions and implications of the Orioles' mid-spring trade for infielder Julio Lugo. The result wasn't favorable on any front, as Andino admittedly stressed himself out and was one of the club's final cuts of camp, ultimately passing through waivers and spending the entire season at Triple-A Norfolk.

This year, Andino -- who is competing for one of the O's final bench spots -- is in arguably the same position, although he says his outlook is much improved.

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"You learn a few things," said the 26-year-old Andino, who is in the mix for a roster spot along with catchers Craig Tatum and Jake Fox and outfielder Nolan Reimold.

"You don't take anything for granted, I know that. That type of thing [with the roster], I'm not stressing. Do I want to be on this team? Yeah. I've been here for a few years -- [these are] good guys. But in this game, you don't know what will happen. You just sit back, and when my name is called, I'll play my best and try to force [their hand]. We will see what happens."

While Fox -- who hit his eighth homer of the spring in Tuesday's game against the Yankees -- appears nearly certain to make the O's, manager Buck Showalter has made it clear that the team would prefer to have Fox serve as a backup catcher, not a utility man. That would help Andino, who would be the odd man out -- along with Reimold -- should the club take both Tatum and Fox. While Andino is primarily a middle infielder, and Cesar Izturis is penciled in as the team's primary middle-infield backup, Showalter said on Tuesday that the club feels Andino can play other positions.

"Robert can play center field, he played third base last year, [he can play] shortstop, second base," Showalter said. "It has nothing to do with it, having an option or not having an option. It's, 'Is he our best fit?' The only time you use the word option is, 'Is he our best option to be an extra guy?' He's got a chance. He's in the competition."

Andino entered Tuesday hitting .256 with two homers, two doubles, a triple and nine RBIs in 21 spring games and acknowledged that it's hard to "take the emotion" out of every at-bat, the way Showalter has preached.

"You try to show them every at-bat what you can do," Andino said. "I always want to show people what I can do. You get a little frustrated in this game, because who doesn't want to play every day, who doesn't want to be on a Major League roster? But [taking the emotion out] is something I've got to learn. It's something about baseball that I'm learning. Baby steps. I'm working on it."

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