Originally written on Oriole Post  |  Last updated 2/21/13
Picimg_orioles_fc52
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

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

UCLA's Adams arrested for suspicion of felony robbery

AJ Green heading for contract stalemate with Bengals?

Report: NFL offered to cut Brady suspension to 3 games

Report: Tristan Thompson won’t take below max from Cavs

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

WWE superstar's girlfriend fired over Nazi Instagram posts

Madison Bumgarner has once again put Giants on his back

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

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

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