Brian Roberts headed to Baltimore for tests

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Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has been plagued by a back injury for the last few weeks and his lack of progress has been frustrating for all parties involved.  So the O’s made a move Sunday, sending the 32-year-old back to Baltimore for an epidural and further examination of his ailing back.  Roberts is likely to begin the year on the 15-day disabled list and we can’t say for sure when he’ll be healthy enough for full-time action.  The nine-year vet hit .283/.356/.451 with 16 homers and 30 stolen bases in 632 at-bats last season.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.