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Orioles Second Baseman Brian Roberts Headed to the Disabled List—Now What?

BALTIMORE - APRIL 09:  Brian Roberts #1 of the Baltimore Orioles steals second base in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Opening Day at Camden Yards on April 9, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Zachary BallAnalyst IApril 9, 2010

So it wasn't his back, but it looks like Brian Roberts will be headed to the DL.

Roberts came up wincing and in noticeable pain after swiping his second base of the year in the first inning of the Orioles home opener against the Blue Jays. The diagnosis: an abdominal strain.

Roberts was a spring-training worry for the Orioles, missing almost all of the preseason schedule with back issues. He reportedly had them straightened out, and he looked to be rounding into regular season form with a two-hit performance last night in the O's victory over the Rays.

Utility man Julio Lugo entered the game to replace Roberts, but with the 35-year-old not offering much power (four home runs over the past two seasons), expect the O's to reshuffle their lineup and possibly look in-house for a long-term replacement, assuming Roberts spends more than 15 days on the shelf.

Adam Jones could act as the new leadoff guy, but he's fifth on the team in number of pitches seen, so he might not be as patient an option as the O's would prefer. 

Another short-term, off-the-wall possibility might include moving Nick Markakis there. Markakis has speed to burn, makes consistent contact, and has shown the ability to draw walks. The two walks he's earned today brings his total to six on the season in only four games. 

Other options include recalling Justin Turner or Scott Moore from Triple-A or bringing back Robert Andino into the fold, though Andino wasn't all too pleased with being demoted in the first place.

Then again, this is why the O's brought in Lugo. Not only can he play multiple positions, but he can also offer slightly more of a bat than the average long-term replacement.

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