Jul 23, 2010, 2:47 PM EDT
Brian Roberts hasn’t played since early April because of an abdominal injury followed by a back injury followed by numerous setbacks, but he’s finally healthy enough to return from the disabled list today.
Obviously the Orioles were going to struggle this year with or without him, but losing Roberts for half the season has played a big part in their being even worse than expected. Not only is Roberts a really good player–over the previous three seasons he batted .290/.370/.444 with an average of 67 extra-base hits and 40 steals–Baltimore’s fill-ins at second base have hit just .258/.317/.385 for a .702 OPS that ranks second-worst in the league.
He’ll probably be rusty after spending the past three months rehabbing injuries rather than playing in games, but Roberts went 14-for-29 (.483) with three doubles on a brief rehab assignment. He’s also never finished a full season hitting below .270 or had an OPS lower than what the Orioles’ replacement second basemen have posted in his absence.
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