Ryan Flaherty Spot on Opening Day Roster Appears All but Guaranteed

Jonathan Ty LangCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2012

Oriole rookie Ryan Flaherty
Oriole rookie Ryan FlahertyJ. Meric/Getty Images

Ryan Flaherty entered the Baltimore's camp in a three-way battle with Matt Antonelli and Steve Tolleson for the utility infield spot on the Oriole roster.

With Antonelli and Tolleson both being sent to Minor League camp on Monday, it appears that Manager Buck Showalter and GM Dan Duquette are set on Flaherty making the squad as the utility infielder.

Flaherty is a Rule 5 pick that the Orioles picked up from the Cubs over the off-season, and if he doesn't break camp with the team he will be offered back to the Chicago.

The Orioles have stressed that his status as a Rule 5 pick would not effect whether or not he makes the team, but rather his performance would be the key to him making the team.

Flaherty has made the decision easy for the O's—he has simply out-performed Antonelli and Tolleson.

On offense, Flaherty has posted an OPS of .777 this spring, compared to .676 for Tolleson and .527 for Antonelli.

Versatility also plays a key role in why the O's appear to be leaning towards Flaherty, as he has played every position besides catcher and center field this Spring.

With the moves made earlier in the week it appears Flaherty will be given a chance to be a Major League ball player.