MINNEAPOLIS—Second baseman Ryan Adams was hoping he would return to the big leagues when rosters expanded in September.
The promotion came Monday, more than a week earlier than expected for the 24-year-old, who is in his second stint with the big league club this season.
He should get more starts this time around — he batted ninth on Monday — because the Orioles sent struggling third baseman Josh Bell back to Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday and demoted infielder Blake Davis there after Monday's victory. Those moves opened up what appears to be an extended opportunity for Adams, a 2006 second-round pick who has hit .283 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs in 93 games with the Tides this season.
"I was a little surprised because we are so close to September, but I am excited to be here and I am going to keep working hard," said Adams, who hit .217 in nine games with the Orioles earlier this season.
In his first at-bat Monday, he singled up the middle against the Minnesota Twins' Carl Pavano to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Adams was demoted June 18 because the Orioles wanted him to play every day and Robert Andino had seized the open second base job when incumbent Brian Roberts was injured. Now, with Bell in the minors, regular third baseman Mark Reynolds at first base and first baseman Chris Davis on the disabled list, Andino will get more time at third while the Orioles see whether Adams can handle an extended look at second base.
"He is going to get an opportunity. Obviously, we are playing him [Monday]," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Andy [MacPhail, the club's president of baseball operations] and I have talked about some other adjustments we might make, but right now, that's initially one. We'll see if he has grown some. We've got good reports on him down there. He has swung the bat well, and I am going to run him out there and see how he does."
Adams has hit in his minor league career, but the question is whether he can field adequately. He made two errors in his limited action with the Orioles and 10 for the Tides.
Adams said he has put in the work to get better defensively, and he believes it will show as his career progresses.
"It's just time. [I'm] doing the same routines every day and just trying to be consistent, and that's how you get better," Adams said. "Do the same things every day and the results are going to come on the field."
Davis batted .254 with one homer and six RBIs in 25 games with the Orioles before his demotion. A corresponding move will be made on Tuesday.
Andino on playing third
Andino made his third start this season at third base and said he'll play wherever Showalter wants him so long as he is in the lineup.
"I'd play catcher for him," Andino said. "I'll give [Matt] Wieters a day off."
Andino, who played six games at third in 2010, said he likes the position because it is primarily about reactions and reflexes, and that suits his game.
"It's just different angles and reaction times, that's really it," he said. "At third base, you can't really think too much about it, just react. I don't like thinking anyway."
Showalter said he's not planning to make Andino his everyday third baseman, but more experience at the position can only boost the infielder's value to the club.
"Robert likes seeing his name in that lineup, and I like writing it," Showalter said of Andino, who was hitting .269 heading into Monday night. "He just looks at it as an opportunity to bring another skill … and to continue to make himself valuable to our club and our organization. I am real proud of the year Robert has had."
Daniels on C. Davis