When the 2009 baseball season ended for the Baltimore Orioles, there was little to celebrate. They were able to stave off a 100-loss season, and their franchise player had a career year. That was about it. That franchise player, Brian Roberts, was rewarded with a four-year, forty million dollar contract extension.
Roberts finished with an MLB-leading 56 doubles to go with 16 home runs and a .283 batting average. Lets not forget 30 stolen bases and a career-high 79 runs batted in. Brian Roberts was one of the premier middle infielders in the game.
Since signing that contract extension, the 35 year-old second baseman has played in a total of 115 games over the past three seasons after a career-high 159 in 2009.
From concussions, to hip injuries, to surgeries on sports hernia injuries, the veteran infielder has been kept from returning to the diamond for the Orioles. In a stint between early May, 2011 and June, 2012, Roberts missed enough games to be considered an entire season due to concussion-like symptoms.
He did return with a bang last year as he jump-started an offense that needed some jolt during inter-league play, but a hip injury ended his season prematurely. After 17 games, he was finished for the year.
The good news is that it’s a new season, and Roberts is as healthy as he’s been, going into spring training since that illustrious 2009 season in another contract year for him. He is very hungry to get out there after being forced to watch his team make it’s first post-season since his arrival in 2001.
Remember, Brian Roberts is a .280 career hitter and a two-time all star. It would be a pleasant surprise to see Roberts come out of the woodwork and lead this young team once again during the Orioles’ 2013 campaign.