Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he spent 20 minutes on the phone with injured second baseman Brian Roberts on Wednesday discussing all the possible paths he could take with his lingering right hamstring injury.
At the end of the conversation, the decision was made that surgery to repair a ruptured semitendinosis muscle in his right hamstring was the best option moving forward.
The recovery time from the procedure is roughly six weeks. And given the fact that Roberts has played in just 118 games since 2010 and just 20 since the beginning of the 2012 season, there will be lots of people saying that this might be the end of Roberts' career in an Orioles uniform. He's in the final year of a four-year, $40-million contract.
But Showalter is optimistic Roberts will still be able to contribute.
"Hopefully he'll make the time period and be able to pick up where he left off and not have that in the back of his mind," Showalter said. "I know what his goals are. He's very frustrated by it, as we are, but Brian Roberts is going to come back and make a contribution to this club this year. I've got a good feeling about that."
Showalter said that the surgery – which will be performed by Dr. Daniel Cooper in Dallas – is supposed to prevent the injury from reoccurring. Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria had a procedure performed by Cooper to remove scar tissue from his hamstring before the 2012 season after missing nearly half of the previous season with an ailing hamstring injury.
Before the injury, Roberts was beginning to show flashes of his old self. He played through a long spring training and was 5-for-12 in through the season's first months, showing gap power and aggressiveness on the bases.
"He's determined," Showalter said. "He's determined to get it right and get back. He and we got a good taste of what he means to us and I look forward. ... I told him we're going to try to hold the fort down. He's very frustrated by it, but he's determined. He's had to fight back from a lot of things. A lot of guys would have pulled the dirt in, but he's not going to do it. He thinks we've got a chance to be competitive this year and he wants to be a part of it because he thinks he can help us, and so do I."