SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- The Orioles need Brian Roberts back in their starting lineup. Not only is he Baltimore's best second baseman and base stealer, he's the Orioles only obvious leadoff hitter.
As Roberts continues to recuperate from the effects of his second concussion last May, the Orioles have stockpiled alternatives for him at second base. However, filling the leadoff spot would be much harder.
Manager Buck Showalter has spent all winter and the beginning of spring training considering his options, and has only one logical conclusion.
Showalter says "If we're comparing all of them to Brian Roberts, they're all going to finish second."
Roberts has a lifetime on-base percentage of .353, and has the unique package of being a good contact hitter, an occasional power threat -- and with excellent speed.