Roberts sidelined with headaches

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts wasn’t in Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Yankees and manager Buck Showalter confirmed that the second baseman is dealing with headaches and is day-to-day.

“He’s had some headaches and has had trouble sleeping the last couple nights,” Showalter said of Roberts, who was not in Tuesday’s starting lineup in Boston before the game was postponed.

“So before moving forward we want to check it out.”

Roberts was scheduled to be evaluated by the team doctors on Wednesday to get a better idea of how to proceed. Showalter said Roberts started feeling the ill effects when he slid into first base head-first while hustling down the first base paths after hitting a ball off Daisuke Matsuzaka’s mid-section in the first inning of Monday night’s game. Right now, the team isn’t sure if that was the cause of Roberts’ headaches or if it just amplified his symptoms.

Any injury to Roberts would be a significant blow for an Orioles team that is already expected to put utility infielder Cesar Izturis on the disabled list and is dealing with a left oblique strain to Derrek Lee that could put him on the DL as well.

Given Roberts’ injury history –he was limited to just 59 games with a herniated disc in his lower back last season and slowed this spring with a neck muscle issue– Showalter was asked if there would come a time when he would prefer to have the second baseman alter his game to stay on the field.

“We talked to him about [the headfirst slide],” said Showalter, who added that he’s never been a manager who mandates that a player has to alter his game.

“The problem in the heat of the moment, and the heat of the competition you are trying to get there the fastest way you can and he feels like he can. But it’s part of his game, whether he’s sliding headfirst into second or third or first. There’s always risk involved.”

The Orioles leadoff hitter, Roberts is hitting .221 with three homers and 19 RBIS in 39 games. He had a hot start to the season but struggled in May, opening the month with a brutal 4-for-45 stretch in 11 games. Roberts has hit safely in his last three contests, going 5-for-15 during that timeframe.

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