Tolleson refuses outright assignment, looks for major league job

Tolleson refuses outright assignment, looks for major league job
November 6, 2012, 1:45 pm
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Buck Showalter really likes Steve Tolleson. He’s one of those players who reminds the Orioles manager of himself.

Showalter coached with Tolleson’s father, Wayne, in the New York Yankees organization. The elder Tolleson played 10 years in the major leagues.

At 29, Steve Tolleson has played just 54 games.

Tolleson was the ultimate good soldier with the Orioles last season with multiple trips between Baltimore and Norfolk. He made one round trip within a day.

He ended up playing 29 games with a .183 batting average, two home runs and six RBIs. Tolleson rejoined the Orioles on Sept. 1, rarely playing, but staying with the team through the postseason, though he wasn’t on the roster.

Tolleson’s chances for staying didn’t look strong, and when Alexi Casilla was acquired, he fell farther down the second base depth chart.

Already, there’s Brian Roberts, Casilla, Ryan Flaherty and Omar Quintanilla. There’s no room for five second basemen on the 40-man roster. As soon as Casilla was added, Tolleson was dropped and outrighted to Norfolk. He’s refused the assignment.

Tolleson will look around and see if there are any better opportunities for a hard-working, versatile player. He can play the other infield positions and the outfield, too.

If there aren’t any spots available, he could return and try to work his way back to the major leagues.

He’s a good guy who was fun to have around in 2012. Too bad he probably won’t be around in 2013.