Brian Roberts is a damn fine baseball player. Toiling in the post-apocalyptic Orioles wasteland it is easy makes it easy to lose sight of his quality. Overshadowed in his own division by Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano, and even Aaron Hill; one quickly forgets that Brian Roberts ranks behind only Chase Utley in fWAR since 2005.
Unfortunately for Roberts, injuries continue taking their toll. After only managing 250-odd plate appearances in 2010, Roberts is now missing time with a mysterious neck ailment. The burden of smacking doubles, stealing bases, and playing a mean second base might be too much for the slight Roberts (slightly built, I’m sure he’s very stout of heart.)
Back troubles are always cause for concern. The report linked above wonders if there isn’t a connection between last year’s lower back injury and his current neck woes. Middle infielders don’t age well at the best of times; a guy like Roberts makes so much happen with his feet is going to feel the constraints of age that much more.
As I stated above, Brian Roberts is a treasure. Some Orioles bloggers consider him the finest O’s second sacker of all time. He certainly stacks up well against his (non-cyborg) contemporaries.
Whether or not you refuse to acknowledge Brian Roberts because of his status as a division rival, you cannot argue he’s a great and exciting player. Usually one who gives your favourite team fits. If a positional change can extend his career and give his speed game a few last breaths, all baseball fans can support the move.