SARASOTA, Fla. - Don’t try to pin a job description on Robert Andino.
Second baseman? Super-utility player? Leadoff hitter? It doesn’t matter to him.
You can ask all you want, but his answer isn’t going to change.
“My focus is just to be ready,” Andino said. “Whatever the boss says to do, I’m going to do. I’m just here trying to help the team win, so whatever I’ve got to do, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m just here to get ready.”
Manager Buck Showalter says that in a perfect world, Andino will move around to different positions while someone else - preferably Brian Roberts - is the starting second baseman.
“Hey man, just having a spot on the roster is all I want, to help the team win any kind of way,” Andino said. “In a perfect world, we all know we don’t live in one. Got to do whatever you’ve got to do. That’s it. I’m just coming in here trying to get ready for the season and help the team win.”
Showalter has suggested that Andino could play a few innings in the outfield this spring.
“I was out there a few times last year,” Andino said. “You’ve just got to try to catch it.”
Andino set career highs last season with 139 games played, 120 hits, 22 doubles, five homers and 36 RBIs - the last one a single that scored Nolan Reimold to defeat the Red Sox in the final game.
“You get better in every aspect in the game, defense to offense to baserunning. Everything. Just improve your game,” he said
“Of course, now people know you a little more, so you’ve got a little bit more stuff on you and they’re going to try to hit your weaknesses up, so just work hard.”
Andino said his kids have watched the replay of that classic game against the Red Sox a few times, “but after that, I haven’t seen it in a while.”
“I go back home, I get too caught up in the kids,” he said. “I turn into daddy daycare when I get home. I don’t have time for anything when I get home.”
That includes obsessing over his role this season.
What about leadoff hitter?
“I don’t care what I do. I just want to help the team win. Whatever I do, I don’t care,” Andino said.
“I’ll catch. I’ll give (Matt) Wieters a day or two.”
Showalter has said nothing about putting Andino behind the plate, but you get the idea.
Other position players reporting early today include Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Nick Johnson, Matt Antonelli, Xavier Avery and LJ Hoes.
Avery’s locker is in between Jones and Endy Chavez, so he’ll get lots of advice on playing center field.