No official word yet, but Roberts expects he's on DL

'New' Trembley says 'player development is over'

April 12, 2010|By Dan Connolly | dan.connolly@baltsun.com

Heading out of Camden Yards shortly after the Orioles' 5-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, second baseman Brian Roberts said he has been given no official word that he would be placed on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained abdominal.

"They haven't told me anything, I don't know what we are doing yet," said Roberts, who was injured stealing second base in the first inning of Friday's home opener and hasn't played since.

Yet when he was informed that the Orioles had summoned second baseman Justin Turner from Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday, Roberts said, "Well, I guess I am going on the DL then."

Roberts deferred further comment until today.

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said after Sunday's game that no official move would be made until today, but it seems like a formality now.

Turner was expected to arrive in town Sunday evening; newly acquired infielder Julio Lugo is expected to get the majority of at-bats with Roberts shelved until the Boston Red Sox series in late April. The Orioles have scored a total of two runs in their past two games without Roberts leading off.

"You know how I always talk about him. I love him when he is in the lineup," said center fielder and No. 2 hitter Adam Jones. "He's just battling something right now, and hopefully he gets back as soon as the 15 days are over and gets back in the lineup."

The leadoff duties likely will be split, with Felix Pie, Jones, Lugo and Cesar Izturis potentially getting starts there.

Roberts had just 19 at-bats in the spring because of a herniated disk in his back. He was just 2-for-14 in the regular season (.143 average) before he strained his abdomen.

More 'new' Dave
In the past, manager Dave Trembley has given several regulars Sunday afternoons off, but his lineup this Sunday was as competitive as possible - and he didn't write it out in advance. The philosophy dovetails with MacPhail's pronouncement that 2010 would be judged by wins and losses.

"I'm putting every lineup together one game at a time," Trembley said. "You know I did lineups two or three days in advance. I'm not doing that any longer. My lineup will be written one game at a time. We'll play to win. I'll put the best nine guys I can out there. Tomorrow doesn't matter to me. What matters is today."

Trembley has long prided himself on his communication with his players. During his first 2 1/2 seasons, he often would call in a player and tell him exactly when he was and wasn't going to play over the ensuing week. But that didn't shield him from clubhouse criticism - particularly from veteran third baseman Melvin Mora - for the way he doled out playing time.

"That [the old way] was in 2008 and 2009," Trembley said. "[In] 2010, I have taken a different direction. ... Player development is over. I did player development at the major league level for 2 1/2 years. It's over."

Gonzalez leaves team
Michael Gonzalez, who has been temporarily removed from the closer's role, won't pitch in any spot tonight. He left the team after Sunday's game to go home to Arizona for the birth of his first child, a girl. The birth will be induced today, and Gonzalez is expected to join the team Tuesday at Camden Yards.

Atkins bruised
When first baseman Garrett Atkins wasn't in the starting lineup Sunday morning, it appeared to be a garden-variety day game off after a night game, but Trembley said that Atkins - who hit safely in each of the first five games - took a foul ball off his shin and had a "knot about the size of a football" on his leg. He was available if needed late in the game but did not play.

Around the horn
Right-hander Koji Uehara (left hamstring strain) was expected to throw 25 pitches off a mound today in Sarasota, Fla., the first time he has thrown from a mound since leaving in the middle of an exhibition game March 18. Trembley isn't sure how many side sessions the reliever will need before throwing in a game. ... Pie, who hadn't started since straining his rotator cuff on Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays, was back in the starting lineup, playing left field and leading off. He was 1-for-4. ... The last time the Orioles allowed seven or fewer hits but at least four homers in a game was Sept. 28, 2009, against Tampa Bay. Including Sunday, it has happened 11 times in Orioles history. ... The first 10,000 fans 15 and over at Tuesday's game against the Rays will receive a Matt Wieters T-shirt.

Baltimore Sun reporter Peter Schmuck contributed to this article.

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