SARASOTA, Fla. - Position players are due to report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex today and arrivals spotted during the media’s clubhouse access included Hanser Alberto, Yusniel Diaz, Dilson Herrera and Richard Ureña.
A backpack was placed on a chair in front of Stevie Wilkerson’s locker, so perhaps he’s also here. Or maybe it’s similar to Ronny Paulino’s car sitting in the lot.
Still no sign of Chris Davis.
Alberto is going to experience a different camp in 2020. He isn’t trying to stay off the waiver wire and make the team. The only decision is whether he’s the starting second baseman following the Jonathan Villar trade to the Marlins.
“I came in more relaxed, but hungry to prove that I can do it again. That I can go out there and play hard and get a good result,” he said.
“Now I feel more comfortable, but I’m not going to stop working hard because of that.”
Manager Brandon Hyde will find a spot for Alberto, who slashed .305/.329/.422 in 139 games and ranked second in the majors with a .398 average against left-handed pitching. He made 67 starts at second base when VIllar moved to shortstop and 58 at third.
“I’m OK with switching positions,” Alberto said. “Obviously, second base is a little more comfortable, but I don’t mind playing anywhere.”
The Orioles dealt Villar to the Marlins rather than pay him in arbitration. He received an $8.2 million contract in his final season before free agency.
Alberto saw it coming, saying the team will miss Villar but has to “move forward.”
“They have to pay a lot of money,” Alberto said. “I don’t know if in this rebuilding team (and) they’re going to pay that much money, so they bring more opportunities for these young guys to develop and see what the future can bring for this organization with these young guys.”
Only J.D. Martinez at .404 posted a higher average against left-handers than Alberto. The bar has been raised to a level that might be hard to reach.
“I will try to do it again,” he said. “I’ll just have to make sure to swing at good pitches and try to see the ball good and put a good swing on it and see what happens again.”
Alberto spent his offseason staying in one organization, which was quite a switch from the previous winter.
“I would just wake up every day at 6:30, get my baby ready for school every single day and then work out,” he said. “That was my routine basically every day.”