After sitting out the Orioles’ season finale yesterday for his sixth consecutive missed game Brian Roberts revealed that he’s been bothered by “concussion-like symptoms” that have led to “lack of balance and some headaches, and just stuff that hasn’t been a whole lot of fun.”
Roberts, who missed nearly the entire first half of the season with a herniated disk in his lower back, is scheduled to undergo a cat scan today in an effort to find the cause of the headaches. Here’s more from the All-Star second baseman:
I don’t know 100 percent sure [what caused the headaches], but it was Monday night. In frustration, I whacked myself on the head with my bat in the ninth. I had my helmet on. It’s something I’ve done a million times, but I still can’t tell you for sure if that was it. But that’s the only thing that I can point to because that night and the next morning, I just didn’t feel good.
Buck Showalter is getting most of the credit for Baltimore’s late-season turnaround, and rightfully so, but getting Roberts back into the lineup was also key for the Orioles. They went 29-26 with Roberts in the lineup during the second half as he hit .287/.361/.403 in 245 plate appearances.
He’s under contract for $10 million in each of the next three seasons.
The Reds announced on Thursday that the protective netting at Great American Ball Park will be extended to the end of each dugout in time for Opening Day next season. The press release notes that the current netting meets Major League Baseball’s guidelines and the new netting will go beyond those standards.
The netting “debate” came back on Wednesday when a young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have done about the bare minimum in installing protective netting, which rightly earned them criticism. Brian Dozier, Todd Frazier, and Didi Gregorius each said yesterday that the netting should be extended. Other teams and Major League Baseball in general received criticism. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, for example, said the relative lack of action on MLB’s part is “morally repugnant.”
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds had already had this idea prior to Wednesday’s incident at Yankee Stadium.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become eligible for free agency after the 2018 season and is likely to get a windfall. The club, however, isn’t expected to pursue trading their star at the hot corner this offseason, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Machado, 25, has been one of baseball’s best players since debuting in 2012. He had a slow start to the 2017 season, seeing his OPS nearly drop below .700 in early July, but a strong second half has made his overall numbers more than respectable. Machado is batting .264/.318/.484 with 32 home runs and 92 RBI in 651 plate appearances while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at third base.
Just because the Orioles don’t plan to move Machado this offseason doesn’t mean they won’t try to recoup some value ahead of next year’s non-waiver trade deadline. According to Heyman, a person involved with the Orioles said, “It would take us 35 years to find another player like him.”