Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Brian Roberts, 2006 Topps Heritage #190
Well, in a manner of speaking. The Orioles had their first set of intrasquad exhibitions today, or as I phrased it to my girlfriend, they decided to play with themselves. Ahem. Anyway, despite the fact that none of this counts, not even for Grapefruit League standings, I couldn't help but carefully read the flurry of tweets from O's beat reporters. I drank in the names, so familiar: Jake Arrieta. Zach Britton. Brian Matusz. Chris Davis. Nate McLouth. Brian Roberts.
Though this was little more than a glorified practice session, it was especially encouraging to learn that Roberts began the spring on a positive note, stroking a single off of Britton to score McLouth. Last year, the post-concussed second baseman didn't play in a single preseason game. He made it back to the field at Camden Yards in mid-June, and saw action in 17 games before hip surgery ended his season prematurely and unsatisfyingly. He's still no sure bet to stay healthy, and even beyond that, there's bound to be some rust. You won't find many people bullish on the potential performance of a 35-year-old infielder who has totaled 115 games in the past three seasons, but even a long-shot comeback story has to start somewhere.