Originally posted on Oriole Post  |  Last updated 2/21/13
It has been quite a journey for Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts for the past several seasons. Roberts is the longest tenured member of the Orioles, having played his entire 12-year career with the organization; however, he has spent more time as a bystander than on the field. Now the question for Orioles fans is this: can Roberts still be a productive player heading into the 2013 season, or is he no longer viable for the organization? Roberts has been a fan favorite and one of the most recognizable faces of the franchise since he debuted with the Orioles in 2001. He has played in two all All-Star games (2005 and 2007) and was for a time considered of the best all-around second baseman in the game. That success earned Roberts a four-year, $40 million contract extension in 2010. He is currently in the final year of the deal. At the time, Roberts was a durable player, appearing in at least 138 games in a season since 2003 and fans had applauded the contract extension. In 2009, he had appeared in 159 games and batted .283 with 56 doubles, 30 stolen bases, 16 home runs, 79 RBIs and a 3.5 WAR. Roberts was in his age-31 season, and most assumed that he would maintain his same level of performance for a couple seasons before his decline phase began. Sadly, after he signed the extension, Roberts had an extremely hard time staying healthy and on the field. Over the past three seasons, Roberts has only appeared in 115 games as he suffered through debilitating concussions and back problems. He also had surgery for a torn labrum in his hip that led him to be sidelined for the remainder of the 2012 season and this winter for a sports hernia. When healthy, Roberts – perhaps even at his advanced age - is potentially one of the better and more patient hitters on the team, a stolen base threat and gets on base at a decent clip. I cannot think of anyone on the roster who has his tools or that could fill his shoes. According to various media reports from the Orioles spring training site in Sarasota, Fla., Roberts is  participating in baseball workouts. Roberts recently told the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina, "I still feel like, barring anything else, I don't mean any disrespect to anyone, but I still feel like I'm our best option." He added, "I still feel like I can provide a lot to this team." Roberts has traditionally batted leadoff during his tenure with the Orioles; however, if he is not ready to go at the start of the 2013 season, outfielder Nick Markakis or Nate McLouth can fill that role. The worst-case scenario this season is that Roberts is an expensive second baseman and can't stay healthy to play on the diamond. If Roberts is unable to stay on the field, the Orioles may decide to keep him around, or let Ryan Flaherty and recently acquired Alexi Casilla take over the position. Despite Roberts’ injury-marred history over the past several seasons, he could still be a productive part of the Baltimore Orioles in 2013. At this point, he can only help and not hurt Baltimore’s chance for another successful season coming up.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker