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He’s Back

It’s been a long road back for the longest tenured Oriole. But here he is, former teammate of Cal Ripken, Jr., on the verge being activated after more than a year of rehabbing post-concussion syndrome. Like many of you, as soon as he went down last year, I decided to mentally consider Brian Roberts retired. It seemed like the healthiest way to think about the Orioles sans Roberts – if he ever “came out of retirement”, well that would just be a cool bonus.

And yet even as he is set to return, questions remain – this isn’t as simple as someone coming back from a pulled hamstring. He’s noticeably thinner, he won’t be diving head first into bases, he likely won’t be attempting to steal a base for awhile, and who knows how his bat will play. To expect the Brian Roberts that we all know and love would be setting urp for disappointment. While I expect him to be pretty good, he is 34 so he was going to be declining regardless of any brain trauma and rustiness. But without question, it’s going to feel pretty good (and probably weirdly nostalgic) seeing him bat in that lead off spot again, something that basically no one has been doing capably all year. And I would wager it’s a nice morale boost for an Orioles team stuggling to keep treading water in the standings.

Welcome back, B-Rob! Here’s hoping you finally get to play in some meaningful games.

13 comments to He’s Back

  • dan the man

    Questionable whether or not they get this game in, unfortunately.

  • dan the man

    Roch confirms Roberts will lead off tonight and play 2B. Lineup looks instantly better on paper. Man I hope he has something left.

  • neal s

    Oh, man…Kevin Gregg.

    This’d be a tough loss to take if JJ can’t lock it down. Can’t waste Roberts’ comeback like that.

  • neal s

    Done. Never doubted it. Gotta do something about Gregg, though.

    Also: I’m back from my vacation and back into the groove. New MASN guest post coming tomorrow and regular TLC posts resuming later this week.

  • dan the man

    Great first night back for Roberts. Such a pleasure to see good ABs out of the leadoff spot.

    I wish the broadcast hadn’t botched that first AB like they did though. Yeesh. Otherwise, a great night for the Orioles.

  • Miles

    Gentlemen,

    It’s June 13th. The Orioles are nine games above five-hundred, one game back of the Yankees for first place, and Brian Roberts is back.

    Life is good in Birdland.

    Maybe it’s still too soon to abandon “No Expectations”, but damn, this is fun.

  • dan the man

    @ Miles:
    Indeed.

    If there’s a concern right now, it’s the starting rotation. There’s a lot of moving parts and inconsistency there, but they seem to be piecing it together for the most part. Matusz needs to rebound. Hunter is who he is. Arrieta is in the bullpen. Britton isn’t ready yet. Moyer will make at least one more start. Tillman was doing well until his last game.

    Sounds to me like Duquette is going to be trying to get a starting pitcher somehow. I wonder what it takes to get Garza and a negotiating window?

  • sci

    @ dan the man:
    For some reason I think the rotation eventually ends up as Hammel, Chen, Matusz, Britton, Moyer going down the stretch, barring a trade. Four lefties would be nuts. But yeah, the rotation is the main problem. If Matusz rebounds and Britton can come back strong, we are good. If not, big problems.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    that broken bat home run was sick

  • Miles

    @ Big Ben’s Motorcycle:
    I’d put money on Chris Davis hitting one off the Warehouse.

    Very nice start for Jake Arrieta tonight. Let’s hope he keeps it up this time.

  • Miles

    I distinctly remember at FanFest earlier this year when Duquette and Buck were asked about Prince Fielder, Buck went to his adage of “never overlook an orchid when looking for a rose.” He was referring to Chris Davis, who currently has more home runs than Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or Joey Votto.

  • dan the man

    @ Miles:
    On that same topic, I distinctly recall Duquette on a local radio show saying something like (I’m paraphrasing) when asked about Prince Fielder during the off season: “I know O’s fans want that big left-handed power hitter for Camden Yards and we’ll find one.”

    Maybe he was confident they already had one? It’s been a heck of a year for Davis. He seems pretty comfy being a more consistent Luke Scott in the DH role. And he looks good in the #3 hole, surprisingly.