Roberts had surgery to repair his injured right hamstring in early May after getting hurt in the third game of this season.
“It’s great, I’m excited. Should be a great atmosphere and looking forward to being a part of it,” he said about being back.
He has played in just 118 games since 2010, and he is not about to make any proclamations or promises that he will remain injury-free for the rest of this season.
“I don’t look past today,” Roberts said. “I’m going to enjoy the day and play hard today. It’s not in my hands to make the call that I will be out there every single inning for the rest of the year. None of us have control over that.
“I don’t know if you ever know (you are ready) until you get in that atmosphere. You can’t simulate major league game speed anywhere. You just do as much as you can to feel like you are ready, and then go.”
What about coming back in the DH role tonight?
“It’s fine,” he said. “We didn’t talk about it much, (manager Buck Showalter) just kind of told me that is what I’ll do tonight, so we’ll go out and DH.”
Roberts played in the first three games of this season against Tampa Bay, going 5-for-12 with a double, RBI and a stolen base. This week, he went 3-for-13 with a double and RBI in four rehab games with Triple-A Norfolk.
Roberts was asked if he has any limitations as he returns.
“I don’t think so, I guess they essentially took out the problem,” he said. “We tried to make sure everything else was strong enough around it. I’m going to try and play the way I normally would.”
Now, about that slip down the steps the other night. It was much speculated about after Roberts left the game early on Friday night during a rainy game in Norfolk. Not long after he left the game, he took a tumble down the stairs in the tunnel leading from the dugout to the clubhouse.
“Yeah, it definitely scared me at first,” he said. “Fell down a couple of stairs, more so just because it was raining. R.J. (Tides manager Ron Johnson) had been panicking about getting me out for a couple of innings anyway. Just made sure everything was in one piece and then just laughed.”
Roberts was asked about the great atmosphere at Camden Yards this weekend. Roberts said it reminded him of some games in 2005 when the Orioles were in first place. He’s seen some wild crowds here since the start of last season, he just hasn’t been on the field for some of those games.
“It’s great for our city,” he said. “I love seeing our city excited about the Orioles, and that is the way it is right now, and it’s great.”
So Roberts is back with the club again. In recent seasons, he’s overcome concussion issues, hip surgery and now hamstring surgery. There have been physical hurdles. for sure, but he also tried to stay mentally strong as well through each comeback attempt.
“You know, my faith and just believing that God has a purpose for everything I’ve been through,” he said. “There have been many days where you wonder, ‘Am I still supposed to be doing this? Can I do this, or is it still worth it to do this sometimes even?’
“But it’s never been my personality to quit until I felt like it’s really, really time to do that, and I hadn’t felt that sense yet. For me, it was just a reliance on the people around me and my faith.”