Judging from the reaction on Twitter to the Orioles’ trade of Robert Andino to the Mariners on Tuesday, many O’s fans have a heavy heart over the infielder's departure.
Andino will be forever etched in Baltimore baseball lore for getting the game-winning hit in the Orioles’ Game 162 win in 2011 over the Red Sox. The game was later nicknamed the “Curse of the Andino” since it played a huge part in Boston missing the postseason. Many fans point to that game as a tonesetter to the team’s success this past season.
With Brian Roberts still recovering from multiple concussions early in the season, Andino had his shot at the starting second base job. He deserved it for a strong 2011 finish. After years as a reserve, Andino finally had the chance to carve out a niche as a starter, a story of perseverance that any Baltimore baseball fan would love.
But Andino’s 2012 season was an overall disappointment. He had some big hits out of the nine hole and hit a career-high seven homers, but wasn’t able to show any consistency at the plate. His 13 errors at second were too much for an everyday player.
Still, Andino was a Buck Showalter guy, and the Orioles manager gave him opportunities to get back into the lineup, even after he disappeared for a stretch when the club acquired Omar Quintanilla from the Mets.
But simply put, Andino wasn't going to play a significant role in 2013.
And while acquiring outfielder Trayvon Robinson isn’t a move that will make the team print playoff tickets, he’s just 25 and could still become a solid contributor with more contact and fewer strikeouts.
It was a real possibility that Andino might have been non-tendered, so getting something for him now was a good move.
And it shows that executive vice president Dan Duquette is happy with his second-base situation moving forward with new addition Alexi Casilla, claimed off waivers from the Twins earlier this month, as well as Ryan Flaherty and Roberts, who is coming back from hip surgery.
“I’m confident we have options,” Duquette said Tuesday. “Flaherty hit nine home runs in 200 at-bats this year (actually seven in 164, including the postseason). And Casilla has more range than any other second baseman in the American League according to the numbers. And Casilla has the capability of stealing a base. And we still have Brian Roberts.”
But now no more Andino.
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