Brian Roberts will travel with Orioles, could start rehab after road trip

Brian Roberts looks on from the dugout during Friday night's game.
Brian Roberts looks on from the dugout during Friday night's game. (Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun)

When the Orioles travel to Detroit to begin a six-game road trip Monday, second baseman Brian Roberts will be with the team, and the club is optimistic he can start a minor league rehabilitation assignment upon the return from the trip.

Roberts, however, wouldn't put a timetable on when a rehab assignment would begin and said Saturday that he still needed to work through some things before live-game action.


"I can't go play yet," Roberts said. "I still have some progressions to get through, especially running. I haven't gotten to the point where I have done really explosive running yet. So I still have a little bit of time."

Manager Buck Showalter said Roberts and the Orioles will discuss their options moving forward when the team returns from its seven-day, six-game road trip to Detroit and Toronto.

"I trust Brian," Showalter said. "He knows the level he has to be at to play here. … He'll be honest with me, and I'll believe him."

Roberts hasn't played since injuring his hamstring in the Orioles' third game of the season at Tampa Bay. It was the latest setback for the former All-Star, who has played in just 118 games since the start of 2010.

"Most of this stuff is continuing to gain some strength, continue to be able to run a little harder, obviously," Roberts said. "You've got to get to the point where you can be explosive to help the ballclub."

Roberts rejoined the team in Tampa one week ago after spending time recovering from hamstring surgery in Sarasota, Fla. Showalter wanted to bring Roberts back into the fold and have him in the clubhouse.

"He's been in Sarasota," Showalter said. "We all like Sarasota. It's been great for the organization, but it's not Baltimore, and it's not around your team and your teammates, and I think that's been good for him too."

When Roberts does go out on a rehab assignment, he'll work with special assistant Terry Crowley to gauge his progress and help decide when he's ready to return to the big leagues.

Showalter and the Orioles won't know where Roberts is in his recovery until he returns to game action.

"I don't think he's going to not be honest with us, because he knows how important it is that he can come here and contribute," Showalter said. "I don't know if it's the last thing physically or the last thing mentally to know. I don't think you're going to know that. It's a combination of both until you actually get in the heat of battle up here."

Teagarden breaks through

One stat line that stood out in the Orioles lineup entering Saturday was backup catcher Taylor Teagarden's 0-for-20 at the plate in seven previous games this year.

But Saturday, when he spelled starter Matt Wieters against the Red Sox, he finally broke through for his first hit of the year. In the fifth inning, Teagarden singled off right-hander John Lackey, a hot smash that Boston third baseman Jose Iglesias couldn't handle.

Last season, Teagarden batted .158 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 22 games.


"This guy, if he can show people he can stay healthy, he'd be a starting catcher for a lot of people," Showalter said before the game. "I think there's some good things ahead with Taylor offensively, but what he does there is just a bonus. He's a very good defensive catcher."

Ishikawa to opt out

Triple-A Norfolk first baseman Travis Ishikawa will file paperwork Sunday to opt out of his minor league deal with the Orioles because he wasn't called up by June 15, according to his representation.

Ishikawa, 29, hit .316 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 games for the Tides, but he hasn't played since Monday. He had asked for an early opt-out last week, but it was not granted while the Orioles looked to trade him.

Around the horn

Left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland struck out the first three batters he faced Saturday on nine pitches. The last Oriole to strike out three straight batters on nine pitches was Alberto Castillo on Sept. 23, 2008 against Tampa Bay. ... Right-hander Jason Hammel was away from the team again Saturday as he recovers from an illness. Showalter was still planning on Hammel making his Monday start at Detroit. … Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is making his sixth home start of the season Sunday against the Red Sox. He's 2-0 with a 4.13 ERA and three quality starts in the previous five. He's 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three career games (two starts) against Boston. … Left-hander Jon Lester, who is scheduled to start for Boston on Sunday in place of right-hander Clay Buchholz, is 7-0 with a 2.52 ERA in 10 career starts at Camden Yards. … Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada will start Monday's game for Triple-A Norfolk, and right-hander Kevin Gausman will start Tuesday. … Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (oblique) had a successful throwing session off a full mound in Sarasota on Saturday. … Infielder-designated hitter Wilson Betemit (knee) is still taking ground balls in Sarasota. … Orioles players were introduced with the theme music of various professional wrestling stars during Saturday's game. ... The Orioles are giving away a Father's Day travel kit to the first 10,000 men 21 and over at Sunday's series finale. ... Iglesias extended his hit streak to 16 games Saturday. It's the longest active streak in the majors.


Baltimore Sun reporter Dan Connolly contributed to this article.

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