Andino designated for assignment as O's finalize roster

Club has 10 days to trade, release or ask waivers on utility infielder

April 04, 2010|By Dan Connolly | dan.connolly@baltsun.com

SARASOTA, Fla. — - In a flurry of expected moves, the Orioles set their Opening Day 25-man roster after Saturday's final exhibition game.

The decisions include designating for assignment utility infielder Robert Andino, who became expendable when the Orioles traded for veteran Julio Lugo on Thursday.

"I have a responsibility to do what I can to make the team as good as I can and, in my judgment, Lugo was a better fit for us," said Andy MacPhail, the club's president of baseball operations. "I know that when I make that judgment, I risk losing a player."

The team has 10 days to trade, release or ask waivers on Andino, 25, who batted .222 in 78 games for the Orioles in 2009. If they put him on waivers and he clears, he could be outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Andino can't refuse the assignment, but Triple-A is not where he wants to be.

"I guess I wasn't good enough from what they've seen," Andino said. "They feel more comfortable with Lugo, say he's a better ballplayer than me, so what am I going to do? I can't say anything."

Taking Andino's spot on the 40-man roster will be left-handed specialist Will Ohman, who had signed a minor league deal with the club this offseason. Ohman, 32, is one of four relievers who learned Saturday that they had made the team. The others are right-handers Jason Berken, Matt Albers and Cla Meredith.

That left Kam Mickolio as the odd man out. Mickolio, who has been dealing with a sore groin and a bout of wildness, was sent to Norfolk.

"I'm disappointed. I'm mad at myself mostly," Mickolio said. "For all the hard work I put in this offseason, and the groin injury the last week of camp put me down."

Also not making the roster is converted reliever Koji Uehara, who will start the season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The move is retroactive to March 26, meaning he could be activated five days into the season if healthy.

"I'd say unless somebody gets hurt between now and Opening Day," MacPhail said, "this is the way they are going to line up down that [third] base line in Tampa."

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