Hernandez Doesn't Want To Throw Away Opportunity

By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 10 -- By his own admission, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Luis Hern¿ndez could be having a better spring.

Known as a defensive player, Hern¿ndez made his third error of the Grapefruit League season Monday, booting a grounder and making a throw that ended up in the home dugout. He also went 0 for 2 in a 7-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, which dropped his average to .188.

Yet, even with the Orioles shopping for a middle infielder who could compete for the job, Hern¿ndez remains confident about winning the starting job.

"I still think it's my job," said Hern¿ndez, whose remaining competition is Brandon Fahey. "I can still do it and I've got to take care of that. I know I can do it."

Orioles Manager Dave Trembley said he will talk with Hern¿ndez about Monday's gaffe, though he played down the first-inning mistake.

"To me, it looks like he's laying back on the ball somewhat," Trembley said. "I don't want to make a big issue of it obviously because everybody makes errors. I don't mind the one today that he kicked, that's one thing. But picking it up and throwing it like that, that's something where he's better than that."

Meantime, Hern¿ndez said he's trying to take the mistakes he's made during the spring as a chance to learn.

"I won't say right now I'm having a good spring," Hern¿ndez said. "But I think I know that where I'm going to be is fine. The good thing is know that I have confidence and I can fix myself when there's something wrong."

Clubhouse Malady Spreads

Outfielder Luke Scott is the most recent Oriole to succumb to an illness that has spread throughout the clubhouse. . . . Utilityman Scott Moore (groin) got the go-ahead to increase baseball activities. . . .

Pitchers Matt Albers and Brian Burres, both candidates for the vacant fifth-starter spot, will each start in a minor league game Thursday. But Trembley has yet to decide who will start against Minnesota that day.

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