For much of the 2012 season, Ryan Flaherty was guaranteed a spot on the Orioles’ roster.
Flaherty was a Rule 5 draft choice. He had to stay with the Orioles all season or be offered back to the Chicago Cubs.
He stayed nearly all season except for a trip to the disabled list with illness and a brief rehab stint at Norfolk.
After Friday’s game in New York, he was thinking he’d spend the winter in both Massachusetts, near his native Maine, and Tennessee, where he went to college. The Orioles have other ideas.
Manager Buck Showalter is suggesting that Flaherty play winter ball.
Flaherty played in 77 games, batting just .216 with six home runs and 19 RBIs. He struck out 43 times and walked just six times.
“It was a great first year,” Flaherty said. “We didn’t end up where we wanted to, but we accomplished a lot.”
In the postseason, Flaherty was 3-for-11 with a home run against the Yankees. He and Manny Machado became the first pair of rookie teammates to hit home runs in the same postseason game.
A year ago, he was frustrated, stuck in the Cubs’ system. Now, he’ll be a contender for the Orioles’ second-base job next seaso.
“These past couple of weeks. That’s what you dream about as a kid is playoff baseball, playing in October,” Flaherty said.