BALTIMORE -- When Jonathan Schoop suffered a sprained right knee last week, the Orioles considered calling Rey Navarro up from Norfolk. They couldn’t because he was on the disabled list with a strained groin.
Now that Ryan Flaherty has gone on the DL with a strained groin of his own, Navarro has been recalled, and the switch hitter is playing second base and batting seventh.
Navarro was 3-for-7 in two games for the Tides since being activated. The 25-year-old signed with the Orioles last November.
“We targeted him in the offseason as a what-if guy for us, but in order to sign him this offseason, we had to put him on the [40-man] roster because there was that much competition for him,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Navarro was with the team during spring training, and impressed Showalter with his defense.
He’s been with the Arizona, Kansas City and Cincinnati organizations, but Friday night will be his major league debut.
“It was kind of surprising because it was just two games, but I feel ready,” Navarro said. “[Buck] said I have to play good defense and just play my game and be ready all the time.”
Navarro is in his ninth professional season and was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2007’s third round. He’s a native of Puerto Rico.
“It’s a unique experience. It’s a dream come true. It’s all that a baseball player wants, the best baseball players in the world. I’m pretty excited,” Navarro said.
During the spring, Showalter spoke of his defensive excellence.
“You look over his career, and he’s gotten a little better every year. I’m hoping he’s one of those guys who’s figured it out later in his career,” Showalter said.