SARASOTA, Fla. – When L.J. Hoes was traded back to the Orioles form the Houston Astros last November, it was an exciting time for him. But Hoes spent just two months on the 40-man roster, and was designated for assignment in January when Efren Navarro was added.
Hoes cleared waivers and stayed with the Orioles after he was outrighted to Norfolk.
“It’s part of baseball. You’ve got to take it as it is. It’s a business, and I understand everything that goes on. I’m just happy to have a chance to play baseball for my hometown team back here where I’m familiar with a lot of the guys. There’s some opportunity here, so I’m just going out every day trying to make myself better,” Hoes said.
Hoes is batting .217 with five hits in 23 at-bats and two RBIs this spring, but one of the best part of Hoes’ time back with the Orioles is his friendship with Adam Jones. His locker is next to Hoes’, and they’re often together.
“Adam’s been good. He’s happy to have me back. I’m happy to be back. He’s like my big brother. I learn a lot from him, and being able to be around him every day and talk to him about different things and just learn from him. He’s an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner. You can learn a lot from a guy like that. I just try to watch what he does every day and talk to him about different things I might be struggling with to help myself out,” Hoes said.
Hoes was traded to the Houston Astros as part of the deal that got Bud Norris to Baltimore. He was with the Orioles when they made the postseason four years ago, and was with Houston last year, but didn’t play in the postseason.
“Even in 2012, I got called up when this team made the run. I’ve been fortunate to be around teams that were making playoff pushes, and in the playoffs. It makes me work hard because I want to experience that,” Hoes said.
“I know with this team I have a good chance of being in the playoffs one day. They brought me back and I want to do whatever I can, whether I start at Triple-A or get called up later on in the year, be able to help the team out any way that I can.”
Even though it seems as if Hoes has been with the Orioles forever, he only has four at-bats with the team, one in 2012 and three in 2013.
Hoes, who was born in Washington and grew up in Bowie was the team’s third round draft choice in 2008. Xavier Avery, who’s also back with the Orioles after being traded to Seattle a few weeks after Hoes was the second round pick in 2008.
Even though Avery is currently out with a strained right hip flexor, Hoes was happy to be back with him.
“It was cool. Just to bring everybody back. He was my roommate the majority of my time here. He’s a great ballplayer, and he’s happy to be back. He’s happy to be here and wants to help out the Orioles any way he can. Having a little reunion is pretty cool.”