On the eve of the first full workout of the spring, Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts stood in front of his locker and gave one of the first proclamations of camp.
Roberts, who has been limited to 115 games over the past three seasons by various injuries, was asked about the logjam at the position he once manned on an every-day basis.
"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," Roberts said about the starting second base job. "I still feel like I can provide a lot to this team."
After a season in which five Orioles saw time at the position, manager Buck Showalter agrees. If Roberts is healthy, he's the man, but the question of who will be the Opening Day starting second baseman is still among the most intriguing of spring training.
In the offseason, the Orioles claimed Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. He will compete for playing time at second base, as will Ryan Flaherty, a Rule 5 pick last year who started at the position in three of the six playoff games.
Showalter said if Roberts is healthy, he's the starting second baseman. And Roberts was a full participant in the first full workout of spring training Saturday for the first time in three years. After battling a back injury, multiple concussions and offseason hip and sports hernia surgeries, Roberts feels healthier than he's been since he played 159 games in 2009.
Roberts' health the main factor in the Orioles' battle at second base
Baltimore Sun | Feb 17