Orioles' Hanser Alberto outlasts competition for utility spot - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Hanser Alberto outlasts competition for utility spot

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

NEW YORK—As the Orioles made trims to their roster during spring training, Hanser Alberto stayed. Eventually, he headed north with the team.

The 26-year-old infielder was acquired on waivers from the Yankees on January 11, then was lost on waivers on February 22 to the San Francisco Giants when the Orioles claimed left-hander Josh Osich.

A week later, the Orioles reclaimed Alberto from the Giants.

“When they picked  me back, that told me something,” Alberto said.

Not only did Alberto outlast several other utility players with major league experience who were in camp, he also outlasted Osich, who was designated for assignment when the Orioles needed a roster spot for outfielder Dwight Smith Jr.

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Alberto beat out Christopher Bostick, Jace Peterson, Jack Reinheimer, Zach Vincej and Stevie Wilkerson, all with major league experience, and none currently on the 40-man roster.

“Every time you step on the field, you play hard, and I think that’s the most important thing,” Alberto said.  They know I was working really hard to do my best, and they decided to keep me on the team.”

Alberto has played each of the four infield positions in his major league career. Before coming to Baltimore, Alberto played 89 games for Texas in 2015, 2016 and 2018. He singled as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Thursday’s Opening Day game.

“I think he’s got great intangibles. He’s an unbelievable teammate, really good with younger guys,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.

“He’s got the ability to play multiple positions, especially short. I felt like he was the best fit for the roster because of his ability to play short as well as second and third very well and give you a pro at-bat like he did the other [day].”

As players disappeared from the camp roster, Alberto remained confident.

“I never get nervous,” Alberto said. “I go out there and do my job, and they make the decision. I control myself, I challenge myself every day. I try to do my best, and they do what they have to do.”

The Orioles have 12 pitchers and a four-man bench. A roster decision must be made before Thursday’s home opener when Alex Cobb is scheduled to be activated from the 10-day disabled list. As a result, Alberto’s time with the Orioles could be short. He has no options remaining and would have to pass through waivers.

“I think, ideally, you’d like to have a four-man bench because it creates flexibility, but you don’t want to leave yourself short on the mound,” Hyde said.

“We don’t want to be short when it comes to an innings standpoint. Because we have two off-days in the first eight days. If we didn’t, we’d have one more pitcher. How it went the other [day] when I’m pinch-hitting for guys late, and utilizing my bench, that’s going to happen throughout the whole year. I want everybody to play. I want everybody to be ready to play.  A lot of these guys play better when there’s a chance they’re going to get in.”

Alberto hopes his time with the Orioles is an extended one.

“I enjoy the moment here, and when I get a chance to play, I do my job, and let things happen,” Alberto said. “ I don’t know what’s next. I just control what I can control.”

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. VICTORTEE

    March 31, 2019 at 10:19 am

    What would the reaction have been if Dan and Buck had kept this AAAA player?

    He is one of three players on the roster with below .200 major league averages along with Ruiz and Severino. But they all have AAA experience so all is good according to the Boy Genius.

    • CalsPals

      March 31, 2019 at 10:33 am

      I think Dan was an idiot, Buck was/is a good baseball guy to have around, he was saddled w/Duquettes stupid decisions, as well as the elder Angelo, would have liked to see Buck utilized some how, he was archaic, we all get there, but he protected his players & treated them fairly, not opposed to them moving on, but again, would have liked to have seen him used somehow….

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 31, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Good question Vic … I’m with you on this one Vic. Heck … look how he (DD) was crucified for employing Ryan Flaherty .. who in my book, is a world better than this guy.

    • Tbrenn02

      March 31, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Put Chris Davis on the DL and keep Alberto
      On the major league roster.

    • Bhoffman1

      March 31, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      Severino cannot hit major league pitching and should not be on this team

    • Jbigle1

      March 31, 2019 at 8:17 pm

      We were also trying to go to the postseason with Dan and Buck. We employed guys like schoop, machado and jones way back then. It’s a little different when we are starting a rebuild. You guys are never going to be happy if you’re comparing our roster now to that team. You guys are unnecessarily harsh and cynical right now. Which is a lot coming from me because I’ve been told I’m a harsh and cynical guy. You can’t judge anything Elias yet. It’s far too soon.

      • Jbigle1

        March 31, 2019 at 8:28 pm

        And that’s a little bit of revisionist history if you think people were only complaining about guys like Ryan Flaherty. The FO told fans and expected the orioles to be playoff contenders last year with Danny.Valencia, Anthony Santander, and Pedro Alvarez in our starting lineup. Remember the 2 rule 5 guys who opened up in our pen also? If you want to see a real joke there was one right there. Lets give this FO some time before we become overly critical cynics.

      • VICTORTEE

        April 1, 2019 at 5:20 pm

        I agree we are starting a rebuild. That is why I think we should have PROSPECTS like Hays, Sisco, Santander, and Stewart on the roster rather than some of the guys we have. Elias’s argument that they have to play AAA first is disproven by the fact Alberto, Ruiz and Severino all played AAA and all have major league averages under .200.

  2. Tony Paparella

    March 31, 2019 at 11:09 am

    He may only be around temporarily as I see better prospects lying in wait. They have chosen to let those prospects get everyday playing time until more important decisions have to be made.As far as DD I thought he did an adequate job with the resources he was given.Cobb, Cashner,Bleier, etc. decent pickups and last years starting team should have contributed a lot more than they actually did.He picked up a couple prospects that are let to shine. (Diaz).New regime may have more wiggle room and I am confident the organization will get back to respectability.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 31, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Hanser Alberto … Did you say Hanser Alberto? Really?? The team has sunk so low as to force our hero Rich write a piece about Hanser Alberto? I do understand that he’s currently hitting 1.000 … but Hanser Alberto … really?

    • Rich Dubroff

      March 31, 2019 at 11:51 am

      Boog, I thought it was interesting that Alberto made the team when several other utility guys didn’t. During spring training, I wrote almost nothing about him, and wanted to. In spring training there are over 60 players, and some don’t get much play. In the regular season, there are fewer and you can’t write about the same player every day.

  4. Bhoffman1

    March 31, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    I really live the Richie Martin plays SS. I hope he can hit a little because he is smooth in the field

    • Bhoffman1

      March 31, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      Same thing with Ruiz. He also is smooth in the field but can he hit to stay there?

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