Brian Roberts shut down again with more back problems

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Brian Roberts had X-rays on his sore neck upon arriving at Orioles camp last month and now he’s been shut down again with back spasms.

Roberts missed nearly the entire first half of last season with a herniated disk in his back, so the latest setback is definitely a big concern for the 33-year-old second baseman.

Manager Buck Showalter told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that the trainers “are talking about potentially doing some tests” on Roberts and Connolly speculates that his being available before next week “is looking like a serious stretch.”

Indians to sign Tyler Clippard

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Jon Heyman reports that the Indians are signing Tyler Clippard to a minor league deal. He’ll make $1.75 million if he makes the big league roster.

Clippard, a 12-year veteran who just turned 34, pitched in 73 games for the Blue Jays last year, posting a 3.67 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 85/23 in 68.2 innings. It was a nice bounce back year for him after he spent 2017 bouncing among three different teams in the course of a below average campaign.

With the departures of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, and the elevation of Brad Hand to the closer’s role, Terry Francona will be looking for all the mid-innings help he can get in the Indians’ pen. Clippard could fit that bill.