Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts was shut down in the middle of March due to soreness in his back. For a guy with his recent injury history, it seemed likely that the soreness would linger right on into the start of the regular season.
According to MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, Roberts is back in the Baltimore lineup Sunday for the O’s afternoon Grapefruit League matchup with the Rays.
He was able to take batting practice Friday and then again on Saturday. When he arrived at the ballpark Sunday morning with no abnormal pain or discomfort, the Orioles decided to clear him for action.
Roberts, 33, played in only 59 games last season and finished with an underwhelming .745 OPS in 230 at-bats. He’s hoping to bounce back with health on his side here in 2011.
The BBWAA hands out its own Manager of the Year Awards in November, and they tend to be the better-recognized awards, but The Sporting News has been handing out its Manager of the Year awards since 1936, so we figure they’re worth mentioning too. This year The Sporting News’ panel of 29 major league managers has named Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Terry Francona its Managers of the Year.
Roberts took over a somewhat fractured Dodgers clubhouse and overcame an historic number of player injuries — requiring the use of 55 different players on the 25-man roster — to lead L.A. to yet another National League West title and an appearance in the NLCS. Francona, meanwhile, took a team that was thought to be more of a Wild Card contender to 94 wins and the AL Central title, besting theTigers by eight games and the defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals by thirteen.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says thatClayton Kershaw is unlikely to need back surgery for the herniated disk that sidelined him for more than two months during the season.
Friedman says that Kershaw feels good and that he doesn’t anticipate surgery. It was unclear if that would be the case because, even as Kershaw came back in September and pitched deep into the playoffs, often on short rest, everyone was fairly tight-lipped about how Kershaw was feeling.
For what it’s worth, Kershaw looked sound mechanically, even if was up and down at times in October.