Here are a few more comments from Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who appeared at a pregame news conference ahead of his first major league start in more than a year:
On how much he'll play: "We haven't talked about it much. The most I played down there was three days in a row. I didn't have any problems with that. I had a night and a day and all that sort of stuff. We tried to mix in night games, day games, all that. I'm sure that obviously, I don't know. I doubt [Showalter's} going to run me out for 40 straight, even though I'd love to. If I had my choice, I'd say, I'm ready to go, but we haven't sat down and talked about what the plan will be yet."
On his biggest hurdle during rehab: "I think getting on the ground is probably the biggest hurdle. Getting in the box, I never really had any apprehensions about. Obviously, one of the hurdles is just getting used to the speed of the game in the batter's box, velocity and breaking balls, and things like that. I didn't have apprehension about that. I knew it would come back. I had apprehension about getting on the ground and diving and sliding and doing the things that we have to do instinctively. I think my first couple of dives for balls weren't all that instinctive, but by the end, the last couple, I really didn't think about. It's kind of a microcosm of the rest of my rehab. It's becoming more and more acclimated to just doing things over and over and over again, and that's what it took for a year to get to this point, and it wasn't much different on the rehab assignment, I guess."
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On his timing at the plate: "I feel good. I know it's going to be a little different up here. I don't think going back down there you realize that the best of the best are here for a reason. Not to take anything away from anybody in Triple-A. I know there's going to be some things I have to get used to again. You don't face guys throwing 98 all the time down there and things like that, but in general, I thought I saw the ball pretty well. I had pretty good at-bats. I squared it up a decent majority of the time."
On whether he is more excited because O's are playing well: “I don’t know if I can answer that question. I can’t answer that question because I don’t know what it would feel like if we were 15 games out right now. I think I’d still be just as excited. I love to play the game of baseball. I’ve been here 11 years and I’ve lost as many games as anybody in the world, but I still love to play baseball. I don’t think that changes anything for me. The only thing that changes, hopefully I can help us continue to move in that direction. It didn’t change my rehab process. I would have been pushing to get back whether we were in first or in last, just the way that I did with my elbow injuries and my back injuries and other things. We weren’t in first place, but I was still itching to get back.”
On whether he will step back in as a team leader: "I’m not going to go in the dugout and start screaming at people, but I think we’ve got plenty of guys on this team who have led this team. I don’t think it’s ever fallen on one person’s shoulders, so I want to step back in and be one of those guys that I’ve always been which is leading as much by example as anything, and prepare to play every day and play the game hard every day and do the little things it takes to win games and try to get this team back to where we’ve wanted it to be for a long time. We’ve got a lot of people on this team that have accomplished a lot of things in this game now, and I think not one single person stands out.”