Brian Roberts has a herniated disc

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Brian Roberts headshot.jpgFirst Buster Olney reported that Brian Roberts had kidney stones. That was shot down by Orioles’ beat writer Brittany Ghiroli, who reported that no, it was back spasms. that Buster was wrong, and that Roberts doesn’t have kidney stones. Rather, he has back spasms. Now Ghiroli — who clearly has Olney beat on the Brian Roberts beat — has an update: a small herniated disc.  But fear not, Orioles fans, he may not be too bad off:

On Monday, Roberts talked to reporters for the first time since the
injury and said he has spent the last few weeks slowly progressing in
his workouts. While he hasn’t done any hitting, Roberts has been able
to do some dry swings and some running.

“It’s already definitely
a lot better than it was three weeks ago,” he said. “[Tuesday I’ll]
probably start some swings in the cage softly. Our main goal is
obviously [Opening Day] April 6. So, [we will] just progress that way.”

That’s great to hear.  Know what else would be great? If no one ever used the phrase “dry swings” again.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.