Results tagged ‘ Brian Roberts ’

B-Rob out at least 15 days, probably longer

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The Orioles officially placed second baseman Brian
on the 15-day disabled list Monday afternoon with a strained
abdomen muscle. But he could be out much longer than that given that Roberts
also received an epidural in his back and will have to rest for at least 4-5
days before resuming any baseball-related activities.

Roberts underwent an MRI on Monday afternoon and the
test revealed there was no further structural damage than the team originally
thought. However, Dave Trembley readdressed the media and said that team
doctors believe Roberts re-irritated his back with his slide into second.

That back issue is what originally sidelined Roberts
this spring. He suffered a herniated disc in his lower back during offseason
workouts in Arizona and only had 19 at bats before the regular season started.

Still, Roberts and the team pronounced him to be in
playing shape and the second baseman was starting in his fourth straight game
Friday when he injured his abdomen while sliding into the bag on a successful
attempt to steal second. The O’s leadoff hitter, Roberts walked to open
Friday’s game, and the impact of the bag hitting his midsection is what is
believed to have caused the muscle strain. Roberts said he immediately felt the
strain, and after scoring the game’s first run, he did not return.

While Trembley originally stood firm in his stance
that Roberts’ back and abdomen injuries were not related, it now appears that
the two  have intersected. Monday’s epidural was Roberts’ second shot. he
got his first epidural on March 15 when he flew to Baltimore to see back
specialist Dr. Lee Riley. 

“What he communicated to us was it was going to
be 5, or 6 or 7 days [before he was ready],” Trembely said of Roberts.
“We felt this early in the year instead of going that route, let’s just
back it up and go the 15 days and get it cleared up totally.”

A dynamic table-setter for the top of the Orioles
lineup, Roberts hit .283 with a .356 on-base percentage and a .451 slugging
percentage in 159 games last season. The 32-year-old hit 16 homers with 79 RBIs
and a franchise-record 56 doubles. The latter number set the all-time
single-season mark for two-baggers in a season by a switch-hitter. 

Infielder Justin Turner was recalled from Triple-A
Norfolk to take the open spot on the roster, but the team will likely use
veterans Julio Lugo and Ty Wigginton to fill Roberts’ role. The Orioles
acquired Lugo during the last week of Spring Training in the event Roberts’
back acted up, but Trembley said the job will not be Lugo’s alone.

“It won’t be a tryout but there will be some
different lineups based on matchups, based on what we feel that particular guy
brings for that game,” Trembley said.

“Obviously it is a major loss. We are going to
have to pick up the pieces and fill in as best as we can. He is very valuable
to the club and the guy that sets the tone offensively. I don’t think you
replace it; you just try to do the best you can to fill in when he’s

B-Rob: Looking like DL

Yes, I’m off today. But just wanted to hop on here and fill
you in a little bit.

Brian Roberts was
scheduled to be evaluated
by a doctor
today, and the team will make a decision after that.  Several outlets are reporting infielder Justin Turner was summoned from
Triple-A Norfolk which means the prognosis for B-Rob doesn’t look good. Turner
is on the 40-man roster and play second base, so he would add depth if it’s a DL
scenario, although Julio Lugo/Ty Wigginton would figure to get the bulk of playing time.

Stayed tuned.

Where did the bats go?

With second baseman Brian Roberts and closer Mike
both absent from Saturday’s game, the Orioles’ lagging offense was
thrust into the spotlight.And the result wasn’t pretty, as the bats continued to
scuffle, mustering five hits against Toronto’s fifth starter Dana Eveland in a
3-0 loss.

The Orioles had a
baserunner on each of the first five innings, but came up short of home plate.
The team’s 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position marker dropped their season
total to 8-for-46 through the first four games. Julio Lugo, filling in for Roberts, was the lone Oriole
to record a multi-hit night.

So what was going on?

pitched to the corners, he changed speeds, up, down, in and out, and if you go
back and watch the game, I guarantee you that you’re not going to see too many
pitches over the heart of the plate,” Ty Wigginton said of Eveland. “Any time a
pitcher does that, they’re going to be successful.”


Eveland, who won a spot in Toronto’s rotation on the final
day of Spring Training, yielded five hits over 7 1/3 innings, walking two and
picking up a pair of strikeouts.

“I just had a good changeup,” Eveland said.  “It was down in the zone
and had a little sink to it and they were just beating it into the ground or
popping it up. I got a lot of soft contact on it, so that was real nice.”

The lefty has owned
the Orioles’ hitters, pitching 14 1/3 scoreless innings in his career against

“When you have a team that is chasing a pitch, you just
try to keep going with it until they show you that they can make the
adjustment,” Toronto’s catcher Jose Molina said. “[Saturday night], the Orioles
didn’t make that adjustment on him and that’s why we took advantage of it.”

“When Molina’s catching he’s one of those catchers to where
he’s unpredictable,” Adam Jones said.  “He
calls a good game that’s why he’s been around again.”

“Eveland has pitched well against us,” manager Dave Trembley said.
“Changed speeds, kept the balldown, very few pitches up out over the plate.
Some good at bats up by [Nick] Markakis, some pitches just missed. You tip your
cap. He was on his game and pitched very, very, very well.”

The Orioles are hitting .237 as a team and have scored 17 runs in five games. Three of their four loses are by one run. Yes, Gonzalez deserves some of the blame. But the bats do as well.

“When they fell behind by a couple runs, they started
getting real aggressive, trying to get that first-pitch heater,” Eveland said.  “I started
flipping some changeups in there early. In the seventh inning, I threw five
pitches or something like that and four of them were changeups. They were
getting aggressive, so I slowed them down a little bit and let them hit it off
the end of the bat.”

Game 4: Orioles/Blue Jays w. Brob/Gonzo tidbits

B-Rob exits

 Orioles second
baseman Brian Roberts exited Friday’s home opener prior to the second inning
with a strained abdominal muscle.

Roberts walked to open the game and after sliding headfirst
into second base, he rubbed his stomach region and appeared to be in pain.  Television cameras showed Roberts consulting with a member of the team’s athletic training staff inside the tunnel leading to the home dugout. The Orioles leadoff hitter, Roberts was
starting in his fourth straight game despite being slowed this spring with a
herniated disc in his lower back.

He snapped an 0-for-10 skid with two hits last night, picking
up his first stolen base in the Orioles’ 5-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Utility man Julio Lugo replaced by Roberts.

Game 3: Orioles-Rays

A few tidbits for Game 3 as the Orioles try to avoid the sweep
with Brian Matusz on the hill

*Jim Johnson played
catch and said he’s good to go if needed out of the bullpen tonight. He had
some tightness in his right shoulder that came when he threw the first pitch to
Carlos Pena in the eighth inning on Tuesday night. Apparently, a lot of ice and
some anti-inflammatory medication did the trick.

*Manager Dave Trembley said he talked to Brian Roberts to make sure his back was OK before playing him for
the third straight game on the turf. Roberts will also play tomorrow’s opener
in Baltimore. Roberts said he’s not concerned by his hitless first two games, saying if it was mid-June it’d be more cause for concern. He told me he’s having good at-bats and while he didn’t feel the best at the plate on Tuesday, he was seeing the ball much better on Wednesday night.

*Julio Lugo makes his
Orioles debut tonight at shortstop.

*Felix Pie said he is available as a pinch runner tonight, but won’t try to test his left shoulder by throwing until tomorrow. Trembley wasn’t sure whether Pie would get the start in Friday’s home opener or not.

*No update on the status of Koji
, but all signs point to him not being ready the first day he’s
eligible off the disabled list, which is April 11.

*I spent a few minutes talking to Mike Gonzalez who has been dying to get the ball back and redeem himself for  Tuesday’s blown save/loss. Let’s see if he gets the chance tonight.

*Rays pitcher James Shields welcomed a baby girl, his second daughter, yesterday. He was all smiles today. What an opening week for him.



Brian Roberts 2B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Luke Scott LF
Matt Wieters C
Nolan Reimold DH
Garrett Atkins 1B
Julio Lugo SS

Brian Matusz LHP


Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
B.J Upton CF
Pat Burrell DH
Gape Kapler RF

Kelly Shoppach C

Jeff Niemann RHP

The B-Rob Effect


It makes Terry Crowley feel better. It
puts Dave Trembley’s mind at ease.

There’s no shortage of good that comes
out of seeing Brian Roberts’ name at the top of the Orioles lineup card.

“When he got healthy you saw how he
played toward the end of camp,” Trembley said. “He gives you what he’s got. We need

Roberts hit .211 with two doubles in 19
spring at-bats, and according to Crowley is right where he should be.  Crowley acknowledged that a few more at-bats probably
would have been for the best, but this isn’t Roberts’ first Opening Day. Read:
he knows what to do.

“Everyone feels good when they see his
name in the lineup,” Crowley said  of
Roberts, who didn’t make his spring debut until March 26 because of a herniated
disc in his lower back.  “You know if he
gets on base he gives you hope that you can make something happen.

feel good when I see his name in the lineup.”

I’ll admit I was skeptical about whether Roberts would be ready for Opening Day. He proved me wrong, and a lot of others as well. To his credit, Trembley never wavered on Roberts’ readyiness, and reiterated prior to Tuesday’s game that he’s always been confident No. 1 would be leading off come April 6.

Rays-Orioles Opening Day lineups

Pregame Yanks/Orioles

Kam Mickolio said
he felt 100 percent normal following a 25-pitch bullpen session on Thursday
morning. He’s been slowed by a sore groin and yesterday was the first time he’s
been up on the mound in nearly a week. Mickolio will throw in an intrasquad
game -along with Brad Bergesen – on Easter
Sunday. The facility is closed to the media that day, but there will be plenty
of news on, given that the team must announce their 25-man roster.

In speaking to Mickolio, you get the sense that he’s figured
out he won’t be on the team’s Opening Day roster. He didn’t throw all that
well, and this recent setback hasn’t made things any easier. Still, it’s a long
season and I don’t doubt he will be with Baltimore at some point.

Manager Dave Trembley
will give the Orioles an extra hour of sleep tomorrow and will address the
players around 10:30 a.m. ET to go over the schedule these next few weeks. 

He also elaborated a little bit more about the Julio Lugo situation, saying he would
use Lugo to add some middle infield depth and right now, he didn’t see him
playing anywhere but second and shortstop. Trembley acknowledged there will be
times he will have to tell -not ask — Brian
to take a day off. Roberts played three straights days this past
week, but according to Trembley, he was pretty wiped after that. Considering
how quickly he’s progressed and how badly Roberts wants to get back to full
speed, I’m not surprised it will be a battle to keep Roberts out of the lineup,
even if it’s only for a day here and there.

Lugo Trade: What does it mean for the Os?

The Julio Lugo trade today brings up some important
questions for the Orioles going forward. Rather than answer everyone individually, I’ve tried to clear a few
things up. Some of this is from talking to team officials, some of this is fact
and some of it is pure speculation. But with the Opening Day rosters deadline 3
p.m. ET on Sunday, it’s safe to say there will be some movement coming for the O’s…

 *What does this mean
for Robert Andino?

Unfortunately, nothing good. President of baseball operations
Andy MacPhail wouldn’t comment on whether they were actively shopping Andino,
but the sentiment is the Orioles are looking to dump Andino in hopes of getting
some return -say a middling reliever – before they are forced to move him from
the 25-man roster. Keep in mind Andino is out of options so he would have to
clear waivers for the Orioles to keep him. He could do that, but given his
flexibility and relatively young age, it’s also possible another team scoops
him up.

The Orioles also have to make room somewhere for the
addition of lefty specialist Will Ohman, who will make the team as a non-roster
invitee. With Lugo as an Oriole, Andino is expendable.

*Who says Lugo is an
upgrade, anyhow?

The thought around the organization is people are growing
increasingly tired of Andino’s attitude and defensive miscues this spring. Although,
personally, I always liked the guy and he was generally well received around
the clubhouse.  It’s an interesting move
to get rid of Andino for Lugo given that the Orioles have preached building around
youth and getting guys of good character. As a 34-year-old with a previous assault
charge, Lugo is none of those things. Is he an offensive upgrade over Andino?
Probably.  Keep in mind the Orioles are
giving up nothing (in a player you’ve never heard of or a minimal dollar
amount) for Lugo, and I guess the move makes sense. Particularly given the
situation with Brian Roberts, which brings me to my next question…

*Does this mean
Roberts isn’t doing quite as well as you’ve been reporting?

Not necessarily. Roberts played the last three days prior to
Wednesday and was at the complex this morning getting ready to go workout.  But the Orioles schedule -which includes 16
consecutive games – makes it impossible to play Roberts every day, at least in
the beginning. Keep in mind the Orioles open on the awful turf at Tropicana
Field and follow Thursday’s night game with an afternoon home opener in
Baltimore. MacPhail stressed that getting Lugo will help them be prudent with Roberts.
 You don’t want to push the guy and have
him re-injure himself or have another setback. Roberts is crucial to the Orioles
success. And while Ty Wigginton has done an admirable job filling in at second
base, the O’s aren’t keen on him being there often.

*So is Wiggy in
trouble as well?

Not nearly as much as Andino.  When I asked MacPhail that exact question, he
brought up the fact that Wiggy can fill in at the corners of the infield, and therefore,
Lugo’s acquisition won’t really cut into his playing time. Plus, Wigginton is
the only veteran right-handed bat the O’s have off the bench on days where Luke
Scott is the starting DH. The Orioles have had Wigginton on the trading block
for a while, but the market for older infield guys making around $3 million doesn’t
exactly open up great trades for Baltimore.  Just look at the Minor League deals guys like
Hank Blalock had to accept.

*If we are getting
Lugo for next to nothing, who is paying his salary?

The Red Sox. The Cardinals, like the Orioles, paid Lugo
league minimum, which is currently $400,000. He’s owed $9 million this season,
and he has a $9 million vesting option for 2011 that’s unreachable because he
hasn’t compiled the necessary plate appearances since 2007. Boston is on the hook
for all of Lugo’s 2010 salary, which should — at the very least — make O’s
fans smile.