After more than a year of being out of big league baseball while attempting to rise above concussion symptoms, second baseman Brian Roberts is back in the game.
He started his rehab assignment Wednesday in Double-A Bowie. The clock now starts ticking.
He has 20 days to be activated by the big league club, though the team can halt the clock if he suffers a relapse or another injury. Otherwise, they would have to waive him, and the Orioles won’t do that with their most veteran player and $10 million man.
So the next three weeks are going to be interesting.
Really, it almost doesn’t matter how he performs physically in the minors – he hasn’t played a big league game since May 16, 2011 – so long as he proves he can handle the grind.
If he is healthy and feels good and is batting .220 at Double-A and Single-A (he will fluctuate mainly between Bowie and Frederick, depending on who is at home), he’ll still get the promotion. The guy is a major leaguer if healthy.
It’s anybody’s guess as to what happens then, whether he is the Brian Roberts who has been a lineup catalyst and steady defender for most of his career or whether, at 34 with a year’s layoff, he can’t return to his previous form.
It’s so early in this process. And that’s sort of the point to today’s question. I want to know what your expectations are for Roberts for the remainder of 2012. Will he make it all the way back? Will he be Brian Roberts again?
Daily Think Special: What are you expecting out of Brian Roberts the rest of this season?