Tag:Brian Roberts
Posted on: April 8, 2011 9:07 pm
 

O's Roberts taken to hospital with stomach pain

Brian RobertsBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts was taken to an area hospital with stomach pain just before the team's schedule game with the Rangers, MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko writes.

Roberts was scratched from the lineup about 20 minutes before the scheduled first pitch. The game was rained out and will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 4, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Hot Orioles off to best start since '97

By Matt Snyder

The Baltimore Orioles are 4-0 for the first time since 1997.

You know what else they haven't done since 1997? Make the playoffs.

Now, let's avoid alerting the small sample size police. There are 158 games left, which is 97.5 percent of the season. It's just that Orioles fans haven't had this much to be excited about in a long time. Not only has it been since '97 for a playoff appearance, but the Orioles have finished in either fourth or fifth place in the AL East every year since then except 2004, when the O's came in third. They've finished last in each of the past three seasons and haven't won 70 games since 2006.

It's not just the four wins that should have people excited, either. It's a combination of many factors.

Consider the Orioles were 34-23 under Buck Showalter last season. Also consider they have outscored opponents 17-4 thus far. That's right, just a 1.00 ERA for the entire staff, one that has gone through injuries and reshuffling already. Vladimir Guerrero and Adam Jones haven't started hitting yet -- and you'd expect they will. Brian Roberts appears healthy and is swinging for power, while Matt Wieters is off to a hot start -- which is paramount in confidence-building for a young hitter. The defense has only committed one error. Best of all, the Orioles have beaten two very capable teams in the Rays and the Tigers.

The Orioles have sprinted out of the gate for a marathon of a season, but it would be pretty hard to blame Baltimore for getting excited about the exceptional start by its Orioles.

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Posted on: March 11, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Roberts' back acting up again

By Matt Snyder

Brian Roberts played only 59 games last season due mostly to ongoing back issues. Earlier this spring, he battled a stiff neck. Friday, Roberts was unable to take part in batting practice or infield due to back spasms. He may have to undergo some tests on his back, according to MASN.com . He hasn't played since Monday and will be out until at least Sunday.

Noticing a trend for the 33 year old? The Orioles aren't, as manager Buck Showalter says he isn't worried.

"Not at this point, not at this point," he told MASN. "There's nothing you can do about that physically. I don't think we're at that point yet where we are concerned about him opening the season."

You can't fault Showalter for being optimistic about his All-Star second baseman, but if this lingers much longer, it's time to worry if chronic back issues will plague Roberts for the latter part of his career. He was durable until last season -- playing at least 155 games for three straight seasons -- so this could very well be an anomaly. But at 33 and not being able to shake pain in the back, it's certainly worrisome at least to some extent.

UPDATE: Roberts has received "several injections" in his back and won't be back until Tuesday at the earlier, reports Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com .

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 26, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Pepper: No Millwood for Cards?

Posted by Matt Snyder

Kevin Millwood
WAINWRIGHTED: Let's face it, things are kind of (read: really) slow during the early weeks of spring training. We've got beat writers tweeting play-by-play of intersquad scrimmages, people making fun of people overreacting to Tim Lincecum's outing (though, at this point, I'm not sure anyone takes these early outings seriously) and one of the biggest news stories is a free agent for next season.

So when a star starting pitcher goes down injured, the aftermath is sure to linger. To the point that Kevin Millwood is a wanted man.

And rightfully so.

The Cards appear to be dead-set on Kyle McClellan entering the rotation. Manager Tony La Russa looks at him as a "real weapon" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch ) and notes he's paid his dues. Which he kind of has, but the flipside is that, in the process, McClellan has become one of the better set up options in the majors. He posted a sparkling 2.27 ERA last season in 68 appearances. Removing him from the bullpen in favor of the rotation leaves a gaping hole in the late innings.

That is why plugging in a veteran like Millwood -- who Dave Duncan could surely make work -- seems like a logical move. Post-Dispatch writer Bernie Miklasz makes a really good case for Millwood. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch )

In other Cardinals' rotation news, it appears Chris Carpenter -- the remaining ace of the former pair of bullets -- could be traded and wouldn't necessarily block a deal. Obviously the Yankees would be in on it, but a nugget from this post is that the Yanks have "told their scouts to bear down on several teams they think could have starters available" before the trade deadline, including the Cards, Braves, A's, Angels and White Sox. (NY Post )

SETTLE DOWN, HE'S FINE: Another effect of the early preseason is the reactions to injuries. Brian Roberts has missed several workouts with neck stiffness. Since there's nothing else going on, it's big news for Orioles camp -- I mean, really, how much could you be following the Felix Pie vs. Nolan Reimold battle for a roster spot? -- but Roberts is actually OK. In fact, he said if it was the regular season he'd be playing. (MLB.com )

THE ON-BASE MACHINE: MLBTradeRumors.com reports that Nick Johnson is working out and expecting a call anyday now, because several teams are "monitoring" the oft-injured 32 year old. He has a career OBP of over .400, so he could help someone's lineup.

FEELIN' CHIPPER: Chipper Jones has been having issues with his surgically repaired knee this spring. He even needed fluid drained after inflammation as recently as Thursday, but Friday was a good day. In fact, he may play in a Grapefruit League game Sunday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution )

TO-MORROW: Brandon Morrow is as talented as almost any pitcher in the league. We've seen evidence on the diamond, like when he shutout the Rays August 8 with 17 strikeouts and only allowed one hit. Or his 12 strikeouts in six innings against the Yankees. This season, he's looking to achieve "new heights." If he does, watch out, AL East. (Toronto Star )

NOT SATISFIED: With an OPS-plus of 130, Nick Swisher had arguably the best season of his career last season. His .288 batting average and .511 slugging percentage were both career highs for the 30-year-old veteran. Still, it wasn't enough for Swish. He wants more. (NY Daily News )

CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL: Mike Stanton is strong. We know that. He hit 22 home runs last season in 359 at-bats. In 324 minor-league games, he hit 89 bombs. The potential is there for an elite power hitter. And Friday, he put on a "show" in batting practice. (Palm Beach Post )

CHICKS DIG DEFENSE? Designated hitter Jack Cust is most certainly not known for his fielding prowess, having played only 16 games in the field in 2010. But he flashed the leather this week in practice, to the point that teammates were impressed. (MLB.com )

DURBIN SIGNS: As expected, Chad Durbin has signed with the Indians. The Tribe's rotation is far from set, so one would figure he's going to be prominently in the mix. The righty hasn't started a game since 2007 for the Tigers. (Jerry Crasnick via Twitter )

BEATING WITH THE BRAIN: Are the Cubs smarter in 2011? They think so. (Chicago Sun Times )

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Posted on: October 11, 2010 11:12 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:51 am
 

R.I.P. Orioles: Three managers, almost 100 losses

RIP As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Next up: The only AL East team to finish under .500 in the Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles were a team with a budding youth movement at the end of 2009 with enough solid young players that it was thought 2010 could be the first step towards an eventual return to the top of the AL East.

Instead, the team cycled through three managers and a host of disappointing seasons from crucial players en route to the same old, same old.

WHAT WENT WRONG

In the offseason, the O's made three moves geared toward addressing the team's perceived weaknesses amid a push for .500. Those were bringing in Garrett Atkins, Miguel Tejada and Kevin Millwood.

Atkins couldn't hit his way out of a brown paper bag before being released, Tejada played poorly in his first season as a third baseman and increasingly appeared disinterested before being traded to the Padres and Kevin Millwood ran up a 4-16 record and 5.10 ERA in 31 starts.

In addition, center fielder Adam Jones regressed, left fielder Nolan Reimold was sent to Triple-A, second baseman Brian Roberts struggled with back problems, limited to just 59 games and Nick Markakis' 12 home runs were a massive disappointment. Mega-prospect Matt Wieters' pedestrian season proved that you can't always depend on minor-league numbers to tell the whole story. (Wieters still figures to develop into one of the league's best backstops.)

And if someone can tell me why the O's didn't trade Ty Wigginton when he was very much in demand and a free agent likely to depart, please call me. Because that was one of the dumber decisions at the trade deadline made by any team, with only the Nats' decision to hang onto Adam Dunn perhaps worse.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Brian Matusz Brian Matusz (pictured, right) shook off a slow start and ended the year with a 4.30 ERA, impressive for a rookie in the AL East. The lefty should eventually develop into Baltimore's ace. He was joined by Jeremy Guthrie, who shook off a poor 2009 to return to his usual season of around 200 innings (209 1/3) and an ERA just under 4.00 (3.83).

On offense, Felix Pie established himself as the left-fielder of the future after questions surrounding his commitment and talent. Pie was injured for a major part of the year, and nomad Corey Patterson -- himself an ex-Cub top prospect -- filled in admirably for Pie.

Luke Scott powered his way to a .902 OPS and career-best 27 blasts, hitting .284/.368/.535 in 447 plate appearances, as Scott has established himself as a solid power-hitter in the middle of the Orioles' lineup. On a contending team, he would likely bat fifth and at 32, his value is running out. His age is not a concern thanks to having two more years of arbitration that other teams would covet. However, Scott will only get older and only get closer to free agency, so the O's should capitalize on Scott's best full-time year and deal him.

HELP ON THE WAY

The Orioles debuted Jake Arrieta and brought Chris Tillman up for another shot at the rotation, giving the O's three nice arms with Matusz that will eventually be the foundation of the team. Tillman is still struggling to adapt to the majors but has plenty of time to figure out while Arrieta has a 2011 rotation spot locked up.

Zach Britton skyrocketed up the prospect rankings all season and should debut in 2011, eventually pairing with Guthrie, Matusz, Arrieta and Tillman to give the Orioles its best pitching staff since its mid-90s halcyon days and its best shot to take down the Yankees, Rays, Red Sox and Jays. Offensively, the club drafted shortstop Manny Machado in June, who will appear on many Top-100 prospect lists this winter.

Josh Bell didn't find the bigs to his liking in his major-league debut, compiling a .214/.224/.302 line but represents the O's best hope for developing a power hitter and will get every chance. Brandon Snyder will also get every chance to become Baltimore's long-term first baseman, but a poor 2010 calls into question how ready he is currently.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

Buck Showalter The Orioles ran through Dave Trembley and Juan Samuel heading up the clubhouse before settling on Buck Showalter (pictured, right). The longtime skipper posted a 34-23 record in town, giving many hope. While Showalter will combine with many budding, talented youngsters to give forth a strong effort, the team is simply not ready for prime time.

Shooting for .500 is a realistic goal, but the team may have to temper expectations given the mighty behemoth that is the AL East. Finishing with 88 losses could be as good as finishing .500 in any other division.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Orioles need to be focused on one thing and one thing only: surrounding the team with enough talent to compete. With enough money to make a play for a big free agent, the O's could strike big, but need to make these smaller strikes count as well.

The Orioles could make a play for Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford and sell them on having enough talent coming up to make a push. The dollars and sense won't likely work out, however, so the O's will have to go second-tier shopping. Taking a flyer on Jeremy Bonderman, still under age 30 and with plenty of talent, could work out in spades for the O's.  Jorge De La Rosa would be a safer get, but also come at a higher price.

On offense, the team could target someone like Carlos Pena or Derrek Lee, amongst a host of others, to come in to act as a veteran presence and occupy first base long enough for Snyder to develop. The Orioles could also strike to acquire Prince Fielder, giving the team a cornerstone power bat to build around for the foreseeable future. Baltimore would also be able to flash enough money to potentially keep the slugger in town beyond 2011.

2011 PREDICTION

The Orioles will take baby steps toward contention. The offense is major-league ready enough, but the pitching is lagging behind and needs at least a year -- if not two -- to settle down. Baltimore's task is to get its young hitters focused in the meantime while cashing in on chips like Luke Scott and Jeremy Guthrie. The Orioles will likely sniff 90 losses but could be primed for a breakout in 2012.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here .

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 3, 2010 5:56 pm
 

O's Roberts suffering balance loss, headaches

Brian Roberts Kids, learn from the pros -- hitting yourself in the head with a baseball bat is a bad thing. Even if you are wearing a helmet.

Orioles second baseman Brian Robinson missed the last six games of the season with concussion-like symptoms.

"I don't know 100 percent sure [what caused the concussion], but it was Monday night. In frustration, I whacked myself on the head with my bat in the ninth. I had my helmet on," Roberts told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com . "It's something I've done a million times, but I can't tell you for sure if that was it. But that's the only thing that I can point to because that night and the next morning, I just didn't feel good."

Roberts said he's had a "lack of balance" and headaches since Monday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 5:45 pm
 

Outlook not good for Orioles' Roberts

The Orioles said second baseman Brian Roberts will undergo more tests on his injured back, which has limited him to just 14 at-bats this season. The two-time All-Star hasn't played since April 9.

Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel said the news was "not very good," but the team has not said anything about the possibility of surgery. It looks like Roberts, who is on the 60-day DL, is nowhere near returning and could be done for the year.

-- David Andriesen

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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