Roberts Update

SARASOTA–Orioles president
of baseball operations Andy MacPhail confirmed that second baseman Brian Roberts saw Dr. Lee
Riley
of The John Hopkins Hospital on Monday and is expected to fly back
to Sarasota later in the day.

The intended course
of action for Roberts included an epidural, which according to a report in
Baltimore Sun, took place. MacPhail couldn’t confirm what happened during
Roberts’ appointment, but said the team expects Roberts to be back in the
clubhouse on Tuesday morning.  According
to MacPhail, the plan is to wait a few days and see how Riley’s treatment
responds.  

Roberts participated in infield practice before leaving on
Sunday, and insisted his visit to Riley was not a setback, but a more
aggressive approach in treating the slightly herniated disc in his lower back.
The injury was suffered during offseason workouts at the Athletes Performance
Institute in Arizona.

MacPhail has said
previously that the situation is a growing concern, and that the Orioles will
explore internal options as well as explore outside help if there is a fit.
Manager Dave Trembley reiterated that sentiment on Monday afternoon and has
already begun to get certain players extra work at second, should Roberts not
be ready by April 6’s Opening Day.

We need to
do what we can with what we have right here in camp and if something happens
from outside the camp we will deal with it then,” Trembley said. “I’d still
like to believe that Roberts will be our guy, but we’re at the point now where
you have to start thinking about the possibility, what we could do elsewhere.”

“You got three guys on the roster [Justin] Turner, [Ty] Wiggington,
[and Robert] Andino
,” Trembley said. “You are going to look at those three
guys.”


Wigginton -who was
lauded by MacPhail for his strong play in Saturday’s start – also started at
second on Monday.  A veteran utility guy,
Wigginton has the most experience of the three candidates, appearing in nine
games at second base last year.  Prior to
that, Wigginton spent two years in Houston mainly at third base and the
outfield, but he
played in a career-high 46 games at second for the
then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays in ’06.

Primarily a shortstop, Andino appeared at second base for
the Orioles in eight games last year, including three starts.  He made nine starts and 15 appearances there
for the Marlins in ’08.  A  September call-up, Turner played parts of
three games at second base last season in his first taste of the big leagues.

“From my standpoint, Wiggy had about as good of a day
as you can have over there [Saturday against the Yankees],” MacPhail said
on Sunday. “And he’s got some pedigree in terms of his Major League
experience. “To me, you know, I would like to see him get [the] lion’s
share — at least some innings again — over at second to just expand on
that.”

While Roberts has made it clear that he’s not worried about
his readyiness for Opening Day, he has been limited in baseball-related
activities and hasn’t hit in nearly a week.

Roberts’ progression in treating the injury was slowed last
week after medication he was prescribed upset his stomach. Trembley described
the megadose pack as similar to a cortisone shot and said it was prescribed to
help reduce the inflammation in Roberts’ back. While suffering from virus-like
symptoms, Roberts did not take any medication and was placed on a different
medication for the few days leading up to Sunday’s appointment. 

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