Brian Roberts unsure what caused concussion-like symptoms

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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.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.