O's could see Alvarez as pitcher; outfielder reluctant

O's could see Alvarez as pitcher; outfielder reluctant

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Orioles have 12 outfielders in camp this spring, and Dariel Alvarez, who was once a touted prospect, is just trying to be noticed.

Alvarez, a Cuban defector who was signed in July 2013, made it to the Major Leagues a little more than two years later, and he hit .239 in 12 late-season games in 2015.

Last year, Alvarez had just two brief stints in the Majors, collecting four at-bats, and he wasn't called up when the rosters expanded in September.

Now, Alvarez faces long odds to make the club, especially with the Orioles' recent signings of Michael Bourn and Craig Gentry to Minor League contracts. Bourn, however, is expected to miss four weeks with a broken right ring finger.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here," Alvarez said. "I think I have the chance to be here and compete. I just want to stay healthy and compete."

While Alvarez's potential as a big league hitter is questionable, his arm isn't, and the Orioles have toyed with converting him to the mound.

"They have approached me about becoming a pitcher," Alvarez said. "For the moment, I'm a hitter. That's where my mindset is right now, to be a hitter. The things that I've done so far are as a hitter. I look at myself as a hitter right now."

Alvarez pitched in Cuba as a teenager, something he said was common, but he hasn't since then.

The Orioles have had recent success in converting position players into pitchers. Mychal Givens, a high Draft choice who struggled offensively in the Minors, moved from the infield to the mound in 2013, and he was in the Majors pitching successfully in '15.

Alvarez hasn't spoken to Givens about a possible conversion. "No, I have not spoken with him about it," Alvarez said. "Right now, pitching is not in my mind. That's something that has not crossed my mind, yet."

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.