LJ Hoes was chosen as the Orioles’ extra position player over other candidates at Triple-a Norfolk this weekend because, as manager Buck Showalter put it, “Like always, he was our best option as a right-handed hitting outfielder. Or really, period.”
In other words, the position really didn’t matter. Hoes, 23, was most deserving of the call-up.
Hoes, a third-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of St. John’s High School in D.C., was batting .304/.406/.403 with 25 doubles, a triple, three home runs, 40 RBIs, 58 walks, 56 strikeouts and seven steals in 14 attempts over 99 games with Norfolk.
“He’s doing as well as anybody down there,” Showalter said. “He’s been very consistent, and he’s a name that Ronny (Johnson) and Brian Graham always mentioned. You see the strikeout totals, the walk totals, consistent approach and average.
“He’s one of those guys who grows on you. I think Ronny said that when he first saw him and was around him last year, he didn’t exactly jump out, but the more you have him and the more you’re around him, you realize how hard it is to do what he does day in and day out. He’s been consistent.
“LJ is a consistent human being to start with. That gives him a chance. But we’ll see what Tuesday’s needs bring. It also gives us an optional piece if we have some issues pitching-wise. And not just him. It could be someone else.”
“He can’t really lose,” Showalter said. “He’s either going to be traded, picked up on waivers and put in the big leagues or signed by somebody.
“We’re hoping that, for our sake, everything clears and he’s in Norfolk as an option for us. But we wanted to get back to a fourth guy on the bench with the off-day tomorrow. And we haven’t had to overextend anybody here lately.”
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “O’s Xtra,” which begins at 1 p.m. on MASN.