Tolleson an added boost of versatility for O's

Tolleson an added boost of versatility for O's

BALTIMORE -- Triple-A Norfolk shortstop Steve Tolleson was getting ready to go back out for the bottom of the third inning on Wednesday when he was stopped and given the good news: He was being summoned to Baltimore.

With injuries to outfielders Nolan Reimold and Endy Chavez giving utility player Ryan Flaherty -- who started in left field Thursday afternoon -- more time there, the O's were in need of another bench player capable of playing multiple positions. They got one in Tolleson, who was predominantly Norfolk's shortstop but has played pretty much everywhere along the infield as well as some left field.

"[They] just told me to be ready to play," Tolleson said of his role with the Orioles. "I'm sure I'm here to serve as some versatility off the bench. That being said, I know the team's being banged up a little bit and I'll get some opportunities. I'm just looking forward to helping these guys continue to win."

The 28-year-old Tolleson batted .265 with one home run and 11 RBIs in 26 games with the Tides. Signed as a Minor League free agent this winter, Tolleson batted .258 (8-for-31) as a non-roster invitee during Spring Training and said Thursday he's been keeping tabs on the big league club from down below.

"It's been a lot of fun to watch," Tolleson said of the Orioles' hot start. "Hope we can continue to keep this thing going, I know down in Norfolk they really try to concentrate on winning. I know that hadn't been part of the past lately. But I think the emphasis down there has made it more fun to watch these guys do what they've done up here."