Roberts slowed by hamstring soreness

Second baseman Brian Roberts said Friday afternoon that there’s a good reason he hasn’t been stealing bases this season, and it had nothing to do with his back.

“I actually had a hamstring [injury] for about three weeks and nobody knew about it,” said Roberts, who said he started feeling discomfort in his right hamstring at the end of spring training.

“I wanted to be on the field and I knew if I was trying to run recklessly, I probably wouldn’t have been able to stay in the lineup. But it’s gotten a lot better,” said Roberts, who stole his second base of the season, and first since April 6, on Thursday.

“Yesterday was one of those times. I told Buck [Showalter] a long time ago, ‘Look, I want to play so I probably won’t be stealing much.’ Hopefully, that’s going to change now that I’m getting healthy.”

Roberts, who was limited to just 59 games last year with a herniated disc in his lower back, also rejected the theory that his game has evolved given his recent injuries. He was also slowed this spring by a neck muscle issue, but said Friday that both of those things have not hampered him this season and it’s been his hamstring “the whole time”.

“I was trying to be smart so I can maybe steal 30 [bases] the last 120 games and not the first 10,” Roberts said. “I told [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells] the other day, I said, ‘I finally may have used my head for a week or two.’ I wanted to run but I sat there and said, ‘Is this smart?’ I want to play 162 games or 159 or whatever.

Once I’m getting past that, no, I don’t want to be the new Brian Roberts quote unquote. I want to run and I think I still can run. I think I can still steal 30 bases and that’s what I’m hoping to do.”

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