MASN’s Roch Kubatko shares the good news:
The Orioles’ brain trust will meet tomorrow during the off-day and decide whether to activate second baseman Brian Roberts from the 60-day disabled list before Tuesday night’s game against the Pirates at Camden Yards.
Roberts must first make it through one final rehab game Sunday at Triple-A Norfolk, but that shouldn’t be a problem given that he’s already appeared in 13 minor league contests over the past two-plus weeks without experiencing any sort of symptoms related to his near-chronic post-concussion syndrome.
Roberts hasn’t played in the bigs since May 2011, but he has three seasons of 50-plus doubles and a decent .281/.353/.416 career line. He could provide a boost for the O’s, who remain in the mix atop the AL East.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.