Unfamiliar with Andino, skipper starts him

Unfamiliar with Andino, skipper starts him

BALTIMORE -- You'll have to pardon Dave Trembley if he doesn't know much about Robert Andino. Baltimore's manager hasn't seen Andino much since the Orioles acquired him at the end of Spring Training, but he wrote the infielder's name into the starting lineup at shortstop on Sunday without knowing much about him.

"I've watched him on tape, but in person, I have not. I haven't had the opportunity, other than the one time that he came to Port St. Lucie[, Fla.], " said Trembley of Andino, who was acquired from Florida in exchange for Hayden Penn. "I've read the reports on him. I'd like to give him an opportunity to play before just sounding like I'm a puppet with the scouting report, reiterating the things that I've read. Let's let him play and see what we have."

Trembley does have some familiarity with Andino, but only because the Orioles play the Marlins so often in Spring Training. He also has the counsel of pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who used to work for Florida. But nothing can replace hands-on experience, and Trembley looks forward to gauging Andino with his own eyes.

The Orioles have simple expectations for Andino, acquiring him in the hope that he can occasionally spell Cesar Izturis at shortstop and Brian Roberts at second base. The 24-year-old remains the only player on the bench who can handle playing shortstop, a fact that helps enhance his security despite his lack of experience.

At some point, though, that may change. Baltimore had to make a roster move Saturday night just so starter Adam Eaton could be activated, and the composition of the roster changed subtly. The Orioles briefly considered exposing Andino to waivers, but Matt Albers got optioned to Triple-A Norfolk instead.

"Depending on what our needs are, we're going with 12 pitchers now," said Trembley. "We'll see how it goes. I think we have to be flexible enough to adjust accordingly on a need basis. ... If you get less than six innings [from your starter] on successive nights, then I think that becomes a problem, especially earlier in the year."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.