Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will fly home to Sarasota on Sunday to begin his recovery and rehab after an MRI this morning revealed a ruptured tendon behind his right knee.
Manager Buck Showalter regarded the findings as “actually good news.”
“Considering that’s the same tendon area they take out of your leg for Tommy John, which tells you some doctors think it’s not a part of your body you necessarily have to have in that area,” Showalter said. “We’re hopeful in a three- to four-week period, we’ll get him back. I was talking to Brian about trying to be upbeat. This is really good news, kind of like Wilson (Betemit).”
The Orioles introduced Roberts during pregame ceremonies and he walked out of the dugout and onto the field. He was reluctant at first to participate.
“I had to kind of nudge him about going out for introductions. I think he really wanted to be a part of it,” Showalter said. “I felt real confident in our fans that they would respond like they did.”
The place went nuts when Chris Davis hit his grand slam in the eighth to give the Orioles a 9-5 lead.
Davis’ performance over these first four games almost defies description. And logic.
“These are the best players in the world, best pitchers that the world has to offer,” Showalter said. “There are periods you go through where you realize how hard it is, it’s hard to do. His contact-to-damage ratio is real good right now.
“I know he would dwell on the things to make that possible. Manny (Machado) put a good bunt down. Nate (McLouth) had a big hit there. Thought about bunting there. Trying to get the bat there to Chris if we can.
“(Luis) Ayala and (Troy) Patton had big innings out of the ‘pen there to give us a chance. McLouth played a really good left field, but Chris obviously is the focus, and rightfully so.”
Davis remains pretty upbeat, no matter how he’s going at the plate.
“Chris doesn’t have many bad days,” Showalter said. “Obviously, his mom and dad have done a good job. He’s got a good grip on reality. He’s got a good wife. I think you’ve got to experience some failure in order to appreciate success. He’s gone through periods where he was the flavor of the month and people doubted him and he’s in a good place right now. He’ll remember that when he has some periods where things aren’t always like this.
“It’s a good chance he won’t be able to keep up this pace.”
I’m starting to wonder.
Remember when Davis broke two bats in the same plate appearance at Tropicana Field? It didn’t change his luck.
“He must have found another Wonderboy,” Showalter said. “He broke his bat yesterday. I thought Tampa was going to start cheering in the dugout. In fact, they did, they were so happy. Then, he broke the next one. I thought there’s a lightning bolt through it.”
Showalter praised the Twins while critiquing Jake Arrieta’s outing. In other words, Arrieta didn’t create all of his problems. However, the right-hander allowed four runs in the fourth inning and put the first two runners on base in the sixth before exiting.
“I’d like to give them a lot of credit,” Showalter said, “but Jake early on, if you had told me that type of damage had been done when we got into the shade part of game, you would have made a lot of money off me. That eliminated that excuse with start times.
“You can see why Jake has the chance to be so good and why he kind of gets away from it a little bit.”
In the end, the Orioles won their first home game and didn’t disappoint the majority of the 46,653 fans in attendance.
With such a festive atmosphere, the Orioles didn’t want to do anything to dampen it.
“Don’t think I don’t take that in,” Showalter said. “I tell you guys, it’s one of those ‘I really want us to deliver’ days of the year. You think of everybody that’s kind of built their day around today. That’s why baseball is such a... kind of starts a time of the year.
“Our guys know that our fans know what they’ve been doing and how spring’s been going, thankfully a lot to the job you all do. Maybe at 25, 26, 27 years old, you don’t think about it that much. You think it’s going to be like this forever, always, but from my perspective it’s not always going to be there, so you do soak it in.
“It would be a lot more enjoyable if you knew how things were going to turn out beforehand, but that would be pretty boring.”