NEW YORK -- When you build up the middle, you rarely find yourself with replacement parts. The Orioles had to sit shortstop Cesar Izturis on Tuesday due to a strained left groin, an ailment which forced them to shift their plans. Baltimore turned to Robert Andino, with Ty Wigginton listed as the emergency fallback.
"I would say everybody at this point is hard for us to replace," said manager Dave Trembley of losing his primary shortstop. "But I would say any time your shortstop is down, that's a key part of your defense. We're confident that Andino can step in and do a nice job for us, but that's a key guy for us to lose."
Izturis, who signed with the Orioles as a free agent last winter, was brought in to repair the team's shortcomings at shortstop. And while he hasn't hit much, Izturis has proven to be a capable defender in the season's first six weeks. Now, the Orioles have to figure out a way to live without him for the next few days.
"He's better then we thought, he's improved," said Trembley. "I got a good report from [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells] yesterday. We'll see how he is tomorrow. I'd say for now, he's day-to-day."
Izturis, who's batting .243 with a .281 on-base percentage this season, said he injured himself in a collision with Royals pitcher Ron Mahay during Sunday's game. The switch-hitter said he doesn't expect to be sidelined too long, and he said that he has already noticed some improvement in the past couple days.
"Today was a little better," Izturis said. "Yesterday, it was sore in the morning. We had to put ice on it, and heat, but it was still bothering me a little bit. Today, I'll get treatment and see how it is tomorrow.
"The pain's gone away, so it's a good sign. Just a couple days, it will be fine. It's not getting any worse."
Baltimore targeted Izturis after trying to identify a starting shortstop for virtually all of last season. The Orioles went through four starters -- Luis Hernandez, Freddie Bynum, Alex Cintron and Juan Castro -- at the position last year. Izturis has started 33 of the team's first 38 games, with Andino starting the remainder.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.