BRADENTON, Fla. - Forgive the earlier typo. Matt Wieters is catching and Ronny Paulino is serving as the designated hitter.
Here’s more from second baseman Brian Roberts, who will begin the season on the 15-day disabled list and accompany the team to Baltimore for opening day:
Is this news an important part of his progression?
“Every day is a bigger step than the day before,” he said. “My doctor thinks this is a huge part of this process, being in those environments. When you have these sorts of brain injuries and your schedule is thrown off and your sleep’s mixed up and your time schedule’s mixed up, all those things are things you have to get used to all over again.”
What’s the No. 1 thing that triggers his concussion symptoms?
“There’s not one thing in particular,” he said. “There’s multiple things that go with a concussion, and certainly every concussion is different and every concussion is triggered by different things and every concussion has different symptoms.
“There are days where I do things that I know I can do. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m pretty confident that if I go out there and I take BP and I take ground balls, I do my lifting and I do my running, I’ll be fine. But when I start adding in new things, then you have that slight bit of anxiety about what might come of it. But that’s no different than any other injury. I did that when I blew out my elbow. That happened for probably a year. I was scared to death to go cover first for 100 games.”
Roberts said he hasn’t watched an entire game from the dugout.
“I watched about five or six innings the other day,” he said. “Hopefully, before spring training’s over, I’ll sit there and watch a whole game. But I’m also trying to get my work in. It’s not that I probably couldn’t. It’s just that, with the time schedule, I don’t make it out there sometimes until 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. I’m making sure I get my work in before I go out there.
“The good part about being up there is I’ll be able to get all my work in and then also get out there and watch as much of the game as I feel like I’m comfortable doing, and gradually progressing.”
Roberts told his wife today that this will be the first opening day he hasn’t played in nine years, “and that’s going to be hard, to be in that locker room and watch all those guys get their unis on and getting those butterflies and that nervous excitement, and then to watch them to go out to get ready to go out on the orange carpet, do all the things that I’ve done for a long time and I love doing,” he said.
“I’ll be excited to be there, I’ll be excited for those guys, I’ll be excited for the guys who are doing it for the first time. But at the same time, there will be a part of me that’s definitely sad.”
Part of Roberts’ progression is getting used to being around large crowds. He’ll go from the Ed Smith Stadium gatherings to capacity at Camden Yards on April 6.
“It’s been a very well thought out and a very good process, so I didn’t have to jump into 30,000 and 40,000,” he said. “You do 10,000 here and then you do 15,000, and then if 40,000 are there, maybe I’ll only watch three innings that night and watch the rest in the clubhouse. Hopefully, it won’t take very long to get reacclimated to that environment.”
Roberts was told that he wouldn’t be placed on the 60-day disabled list.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to do that at this point,” he said. “I would assume or hope that they wouldn’t just 60-day me for another 40-man roster spot at some point. If they didn’t think I wasn’t coming back, they probably would 60-day me, but I think we’re all hopeful that that’s not the case at this point.”
I told you earlier that Scott Beerer was reassigned to minor league camp. The same appears to be true for infielder Steve Tolleson and catcher John Hester. Just waiting for official word.
Beerer, making the conversion from pitcher to outfielder, hit .290 in 31 at-bats.
“It was great,” he said. “I really appreciate them taking the chance on me and bringing me to big league camp. It was an awesome experience. Just getting over here and learning a lot and being around all these guys was great. It was awesome.
“I knew this was coming at some point. I just wanted to make a name for myself in spring training, and if something happens during the year, make an impression so they can remember that.”
Jai Miller (knee) made the trip to Bradenton and is available to play.
For the Pirates:
Alex Presley LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Rod Barajas C
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Erik Bedard LHP