With Brian Roberts now on the disabled list, Ryan Flaherty is starting at second base tonight and batting eighth after also getting the start yesterday against Minnesota.
"Any time you get a chance to play, it's exciting," Flaherty said. "Just to come out and try to help this team do what it's been doing the first few games, help this team win."
Flaherty is usually a man of few words, but today he had more than a few when he was asked his reaction to Roberts suffering a ruptured tendon behind his right knee Thursday while stealing second base at Tropicana Field, an injury that is expected to keep him out two to four weeks.
"It was tough to watch that," he said. "To have it happen to a player like him. He helped me tremendously last year playing second. He was talking to me during the playoffs and helping me out. He's been a great teammate. To see him battle back and then have a setback like this, that was tough."
At this point, manager Buck Showalter isn't indicating who will get the bulk of the starts at second moving forward, and he said today Alexi Casilla was likely to start there tomorrow.
He sure hasn't indicated any more than that to Flaherty.
"No, I haven't even talked to Buck about that," he said. "Every time you get a chance to be in the lineup, you want to produce and help the team."
Flaherty made starts at several positions last season, but he made more starts - 20 - at second than at any other spot. The Orioles went 14-6 in those games.
"I feel pretty comfortable moving around all over but obviously I got to play second a lot," he said. "So, all the better."
Flaherty is off to an 0-for-6 start with four strikeouts this year, but he ended last year swinging well. In 11 September games, he batted .318 with two homers, eight RBIs and a 1.148 OPS.
He became the first Oriole rookie to homer in the playoffs when he went deep in ALDS Game 3 against New York's Hiroki Kuroda.
He batted .216 with three homers and 10 RBIs in spring training, showing some of the pop in his bat seen last September at times.
"I felt like I had a pretty good spring, but now is when it counts," Flaherty said.