Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has not played baseball since last May due to multiple concussions. And he missed all but 59 games in 2010 for the same reason. Earlier this month the outlook still seemed kinda grim.
There is some decent news now, though, as Roberts has continued to work out and is slowly getting back into something approaching a normal routine. From an interview with Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com:
I haven’t had to take any days off, which is good. [I’m] starting to continue to do a little more, starting to go out and watch some games and watch some innings and get in atmospheres and environments that I need to reacclimate to a little bit more … it was good to get out there and kind of see some game speed stuff, track the ball and be in that sort of environment again.
It’s not a lot, but Roberts sounds at least somewhat hopeful.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.