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Brian Roberts putting together impressive showing in camp

Mar 1, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

Brian Roberts AP

Essentially a non-factor the last 2 1/2 years, Brian Roberts is giving hope that he could reemerge as the Orioles’ starting second baseman this season.

Roberts went 3-for-3 with a homer against the Pirates on Friday. He’s 6-for-11 with two doubles in the early going this spring.

While the Orioles did little to upgrade their lineup over the winter, they’d get a big boost if Roberts returns as anything like his old self. Baltimore got nothing from its second basemen on its way to winning the wild card last year; only the Tigers (.577) had a worse OPS from the position in the American League. Orioles second basemen hit .213/.273/.323 and were successful on just five of 11 steal attempts.

The Orioles also struggled to get production from the top of the order both before they moved Nick Markakis into the leadoff spot and after he got hurt. Their .293 OBP from the first and second spots combined was better than only Seattle’s (.283) in the AL.

At 35, Roberts would be past his prime even if not for the concussion and hip problems that have taken a heavy toll. The guy who used hit .290 with 40-50 doubles, 10 homers and 70-80 walks is probably gone for good. Still, Roberts doesn’t need to return to All-Star form to provide the Orioles with a lift. A .260-.270 average with doubles power and steady defense would do the trick.

  1. tuberippin - Mar 1, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    O’s might have a decent chance at repeating some of last year’s magic if Reimold, Roberts and Markakis can stay healthy. That’s quite the caveat, though.

  2. rockthered1286 - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Correction- Roberts has a HR and THREE doubles. And yes he is a beast. Just keep the bat away from your noggin B-Rob!!

  3. prosourcetalk - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Fantasy sleeper!

  4. watermelon1 - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    DH ONLY. DO NOT LET THIS GUY PLAY IN THE FIELD, and do not let this guy slide… Ever.

    Bat him 2nd behind Nate Mclouth… It might sound like a horrible way to use the DH spot, but it’s a much better use of it than the orioles have tried the last 10+ years.

  5. spudchukar - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    OK Cards time to swing a deal for Roberts.

  6. randomdigits - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Solid defense is a bit much to ask at this point.

  7. allen227 - Mar 3, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    It’s amazing how far you fall when you can’t get your PED’s, reality sets in. Another Brady Anderson.

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