Roberts to miss FanFest?
Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has been unable to stay on the field the last two seasons in dealing with a back injury and, most recently, a concussion that has sidelined him since May. While information on Roberts’ recovery is sparse at best, Wednesday night’s report from the Baltimore Sun that Roberts is “highly doubtful” to attend the team’s FanFest on Jan. 21 brings the organization’s internal concerns about the infielder to the forefront of discussion.
Roberts, who started to experience concussion symptoms this season following a headfirst slide against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, has said several times that part of his treatment involves avoiding high-stress situations and –given Wednesday’s news — the team’s day-long activities FanFest falls into that category
If Roberts doesn’t attend FanFest, it’s not good news, but it’s also not surprising. While on the disabled list last season, Roberts wasn’t present in the clubhouse or around the team much last season, another factor which he chalked up to his need to rest and recover in a more relaxed, controlled environment. Roberts’ rehab program has been overseen by Dr. Michael Collins, a concussion specialist who also works with Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.
Both Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter have said several times this winter that the team is cautiously optimistic Roberts can stay healthy in 2012 and the team isn’t in a position to acquire another starting second baseman. A key cog in Baltimore’s lineup, Roberts’ absence gave utility infielder Robert Andino a starting position in 2011, and while Andino put together a career year, the Orioles roster would be much stronger if Roberts stays healthy and Andino can be used as a dependable utility man. The Orioles also signed free agent Matt Antonelli, who can play second and third base, earlier this offseason as added insurance for Roberts.
Also, in case you missed it here’s the story from the Rays’ website on Luke Scott signing with the Tampa Bay Rays. Scott agreed to a one-year deal with an option for 2013 and remains as confident as ever that he can return 100 percent coming off labrum surgery. Personally, I’ll miss seeing Luke every day and his constant optimism. He had his quirks, but he was one of those players who always had time to answer to your questions, even if it meant having to repeat himself for the fifth time. His good attitude and willingness to speak his mind even when it got him in trouble was –besides being every reporter’s dream — incredibly refreshing. He will be missed.