Brian Roberts is back with the Orioles, but the oft-injured second baseman knows how quickly it could change.
The Orioles activated Roberts from the disabled list Sunday, and he was in the lineup batting ninth as the team’s designated hitter in their series finale against the New York Yankees.
“I don't look past today,” Roberts said. “I've learned enough in my career to realize that I'm going to enjoy today, play hard today. It's not in my hands to say I will be out there every single inning for the rest of the year. None of us have control over that.”
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Roberts hasn’t appeared in a game since April 4 at Tampa Bay when he injured his hamstring stealing second base in the ninth inning. Sunday night was his 119th appearance for the Orioles since the beginning of the 2010 season, as an assortment of injuries have disrupted his career.
After undergoing surgery and rehabbing in Sarasota, Fla., Roberts returned to game action this week with a four-game rehab stint at Triple-A Norfolk. He went 3-for-13 with a double and an RBI with the Tides. Manager Buck Showalter said Tides manager Ron Johnson raved about Roberts’ intensity in the field.
“I'm as ready as you can feel after being at Norfolk,” Roberts said. “It was good just to get on the field, get your legs under you and get some at-bats. It's certainly a different atmosphere there than here, but you jump back. It might take you a day or two to get used to it again, but that's part of it.”
Showalter said Roberts will return to second base Tuesday when the Orioles visit the Chicago White Sox. Ryan Flaherty earned the start again Sunday night, as he entered the night batting .483 in an eight-game hit streak.
Roberts also returns as the Orioles try to chase down first-place Boston and distance themselves from New York for second in the American League East. Injuries prevented Roberts from being a part of the team’s playoff run last season — he played 17 games between June 12 and July 1 — but he knows he has a chance to contributed to another run this season.
“We’ve had it the last year or two, but I haven’t gotten to experience it as much as I would like,” Roberts said. “It’s been great to see. It’s great for our city. I love seeing our city excited about the Orioles and that’s the way it is right now, it’s great.”