SARASOTA, Fla. -- Robert Andino had always kept it in the back of his mind the possibility of returning to the city that -- outside of his hometown in Miami -- still holds a special place in his heart: Baltimore."You never know in this game," said Andino, who signed a
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Robert Andino had always kept it in the back of his mind the possibility of returning to the city that -- outside of his hometown in Miami -- still holds a special place in his heart: Baltimore.
"You never know in this game," said Andino, who signed a Minor League deal earlier this month and is trying to make the club as a reserve. "It's real exciting, and it's a blessing to be back. It took long enough, but I'm just happy to be back."
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The last time Andino, 32, was with Baltimore, was 2009-'12, and third baseman Manny Machado was just making his debut. Machado said Andino was one of the guys who took him under his wing when he was a new player.
Andino said he joked with Machado about the All Star's glove.
"[I said] 'Look at you,' he used to use a Rawlings. [I said] 'You've got to use a Wilson [glove]. You've got a platinum glove now,'" Andino said of Machado. "He's the man, now. I've just got to get back into it and try and fit in the game, you know what I'm saying? This is their team. I'm just here to try and help them win a championship."
Andino, who played in just 13 Major League games last season with the Marlins, figures to play a lot this spring with Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop headed to the World Baseball Classic. That's fine with the versatile Andino, who said he told manager Buck Showalter that he will literally play anywhere.
"Put me in the outfield," Andino said. "I'm going to see if I can steal somebody's first baseman's mitt somewhere. Just whatever I've got to do, try to play in October, that's what it's all about. Whatever I've got to do to help the team win, I'm here."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.