The word “injury” is close to being permanently attached to Brian Roberts’ career bio. In yesterdays affair with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Baltimore Orioles 2B left the game after hearing a “pop” behind his knee while attempting to steal second base. Not exactly the most comforting thing to hear from your starting second baseman. Especially since this particular second baseman is one who has played a whopping 115 games in the past three years.
Roberts has been with the team longer than any other player on the current roster. There are not many teams out there that are willing to hold onto a guy that plays less than 60 games in each of the last three seasons. However, Roberts is a fan favorite and has played his heart out as a member of the Orioles organization.
The 35-year-old is scheduled for an MRI today on his hamstring. If the 12-year veteran is out for any extended period of time, the Orioles made sure they had back up just in case. Newly acquired 2B Alexi Casilla will likely take over at 2B after coming over from the Minnesota Twins during the offseason. Also with Roberts going down, it allocates a spot on the roster for injured pitcher Chris Tillman, when he returns later this week.
Casilla will basically replicate if not surpass the amount of speed in comparison to Roberts. Casilla, however, does not possess the same bat power as his predecessor. Casilla has just 11 HRs is his seven year career, which consists of 1,580 at-bats, all with the Twins.
Coincidentally, Casilla and the Orioles play the Twins in their home opener Friday afternoon. It will also be Casilla’s first start with his new team and he will be facing his old team as well. Hopefully the Camden Yard crowd will give him a warm reception in his first appearance at home. After all Casilla may be the second baseman for years to come if Roberts is out for a long period of time.