SARASOTA, Fla. – One of the most popular players in the 2015 Orioles clubhouse is back for 2016. Paul Janish, who played 14 late season games for the team last year, signed a minor league contract.
Janish had opportunities to sign with the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. The Astros opportunity was tempting for the Houston-born Janish.
“There was some more stuff going on, but at the end of the day I still felt like this was the best opportunity for me baseball-wise. Some of the other stuff, especially with Houston was a little bit emotional,” Janish said.
“Obviously, that’s home, that’s where I’m from, but there really wasn’t a competition in terms of what I felt like was the best baseball opportunity after being here last year and knowing how everybody feels about me and stuff and how I enjoyed being here in the clubhouse. At the end of the day it wasn’t really that tough of a decision. That being said, I’m glad to be back and hopefully have a good spring training and see where things fall.”
Janish will have a difficult time making this team.
“Yeah, that’s kind of just the nature of the game. For somebody like me, I can’t worry about the numbers game. It’s going to be what it’s going to be. I guess I just have to kind of hope things fall in my favor, if that makes sense. All you can really do is play well. I feel like if I play good in camp … One of the reasons I came back here is I felt like I had an opportunity to play in the big leagues, and I still feel that way. We’ll see how things go and just kind of hope for the best.”
A year ago, Janish reported on time, but due to surgery for bone chips on his right elbow, couldn’t play until later in March.
“Last year, I couldn’t do anything so this is better. Healthy, body feels good for being as old as I am. It’s a completely different dynamic this year, so I’m excited to play a little bit and get through camp healthy a little bit,” Janish said.
He’s played second and third base, and likes the Orioles to know that he’s versatile. They haven’t spoken with him about it.
“Not specifically. I do more of that, trying to remind them that I can do other stuff and ask them if I can. Over the course of my career, I’ve just always been, not in a bad way, pigeonholed for short because I’ve always considered to do a good job. That’s really more me, trying to embrace that I can do more stuff. Hopefully, they’ll buy into that,” Janish said.
“I’ve been trying to put the outfield on the resume for a few years, and I just can’t get anyone to let me get out there. Maybe somebody will get banged up in a spring training game, and they’ll put me out there, and they’ll let me do something, but I’m open to suggestions.”