Shortstop situation still uncertain
Orioles not sure who will serve as backup at key position
CHICAGO -- Baltimore manager Dave Trembley reprised his frank analysis of the shortstop position on Tuesday, when he was asked point-blank about the identity of his backup. The Orioles designated Freddie Bynum for assignment Sunday and elevated Alex Cintron to the starting job, and Trembley admitted Tuesday that his current roster doesn't have a backup.
"We may do something to get another shortstop," he said. "I think it's a little far-fetched to think that I'm going to put Melvin [Mora] over there. I could double-switch and put him over there for the last three innings or something.
"But to be perfectly honest with you, I wanted to keep [Oscar] Salazar. They are starting two lefties against us and then I think after that, we might do something. That's fair, that's honest. That's how I operate and then you can figure out the rest."
Salazar, a backup infielder who's most comfortable at the infield corners, hasn't played more than 20 games at shortstop in any Minor League stop since 2003. He made 21 errors in 77 games that year for Double-A Midland, and one season before that, he made 32 errors in 96 games at shortstop. The Orioles regard him as a pinch-hitter, not a defensive sub.
When asked last week whether Salazar was capable of playing shortstop, Trembley declined to endorse him even on a part-time basis. And he's said several times that he'd prefer to keep Mora at third base. If Baltimore elects to call up a shortstop from Triple-A Norfolk, former starters Luis Hernandez and Brandon Fahey would be the prime candidates.
Hernandez, who batted .241 in 36 games for the Orioles earlier this season, is currently batting .190 for Norfolk. Fahey, who has playing experience with Baltimore in each of the last three seasons, is hitting .280 for Norfolk.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.