Roberts: if I’m here, I need to use it for a reason
Adam Jones knew he could improve his running game. So did Robert Andino, who is becoming increasingly more confident in his baserunning abilities as his offense continues to improve. That’s why the pair of Orioles enlisted the help of teammate Brian Roberts, a prolific basestealer who saw Jones working on it this spring and told Jones if he ever wanted to talk about the run game, Roberts was more than willing.
“They both seem very interested in that aspect and it’s something I feel like I have quite a bit of experience at,” said Roberts, who has 274 career stolen bases, including three consecutive seasons with 35 or more steals from 2006-08. “I think that if I’m here I need to use it for a reason. And sometimes when you are playing you are so focused on what you have to do that you don’t get the opportunity to really, as much as you should, take time to help other people with the things you are good at.”
“He’s been doing it for a long time,” Andino said of Roberts who is on the disabled list but still traveling with the team and is his lockermate. “Everybody knows the way B-Rob plays the game, he knows his stuff so why not pick at [his brain?] I’m not saying I’m trying to do everything he does, but just to learn the little games that you get from veteran players, Things about the game that you learn that you don’t realize. Me, I’m 27, I don’t know [a lot] about the game. I’m still learning.”
Andino does not have one of Baltimore’s five stolen bases, but Jones –who entered Sunday leading the American League in that category – has three. Nick Johnson and Nolan Reimold, who is the team’s leadoff hitter in Roberts’ absence, each have a stolen base so far this season as well.
“I think both those guys can be very good basestealers,” Roberts said of Andino and Jones. “A lot of it is a mindset and a mentality that you want to. And I think they are now starting to get that mentality that they want to because they think it is beneficial to the team and helping us win games.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is all for the running game and thinks guys are typically a little hesitant to start the season as they make the adjustment in intensity out of Spring Training.
“I’ve been very cognizant of making sure they know, 100 percent I’m going to be supportive of it,” Showalter said. “We’ve had some examples of good baserunning before, we’ve had a couple situations where I thought we should have pushed the envelope a little bit, but I think guys understand that’s what we want them to do. We are going to run into some outs here and there. But we are going to get that mentality. And believe me, [Roberts] talks about mechanics just as much as mentality. But he’s right, it’s both.”