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If not Brian Roberts, who should play second base on Opening Day?

We started off slow at the bar Monday.

I’ve heard about that legendary Kevin Cowherd hangover, and now I have experienced it.

I feel like Jay Leno following Conan O’Brien, who followed Leno.

At least this gig can be calculated in years and not months.

I am getting ready to ride up I-75 so I am going to make this a quick one. Because I know you all have some St. Patrick’s Day libations to attend to. (The Pogues, Van Morrison and Flogging Molly are on the jukebox all day long.)

Brian Roberts had an epidural on his back Monday and is hoping the pain subsides and he can resume baseball activities soon. He’s behind the other players, of course, but if he can get back soon he probably can be ready for Opening Day.

If he doesn’t, the Orioles have some decisions to make.

If Roberts has to be placed on the disabled list because he is not ready, the club’s Opening Day starting second baseman will be Ty Wigginton, Justin Turner, Robert Andino or a player yet to wear an Orioles uniform.

There are pros and cons to all four options. Trading for someone, for instance, has its pitfalls. The Orioles will have to give someone up, and they likely won’t get anyone back of significance since they already have Roberts and they don’t want to spend a lot on another second baseman.

So whomever they get probably won’t be much better than what they have. Turner is an unknown, and it’d be nice for him to get a shot. But no one knows if he can play in the majors. Andino held his own defensively but has never shown much with the bat, though he is having a solid spring.

That leaves Wigginton, who I think is by far the best option to play second if Roberts is out for a short -- or an extended -- period. Remember, one of the reasons they signed him last year was in case Roberts left as a free agent before 2010.

Wiggy has his warts. But he is definitely a pro and wouldn’t hurt the team with his play. But I know there are a lot of people who want to see Turner in action or would like someone completely different.

What are your thoughts?

Daily Think Special: What’s your preference at second base if Brian Roberts isn’t ready for Opening Day?

Comments

MIGUEL ABREU!!!

Personally, I'd like to see Turner get a shot, but the main consideration should be the BEST defensive second baseman as the O's with their young pitching doesn't need to be weak up the middle and on double plays.

I would like to see Turner get the starts, it would be a great evaluation period for him.

Give turner the shot

What’s your preference at second base if Brian Roberts isn’t ready for Opening Day?

Bobby Grich (in his prime). Roberts had an epidural? How many centimeters is he dilated?

Is it OK to drink Dos Equis on St Patty's day.

Justin Turner. Piggy Wiggy is horrible.

I've made the case before, perhaps here or on Pete's blog, that Wiggy is the guy if BRob can't go. How great a defensive 2B do you need on a team that isn't expected to play .500 ball? Wiggy has the most upside offensively. Whenever he has played regularly, he's hit pretty well. You do not want to trade away one of our "building blocks" for a stopgap, especially a "no-hit all-field guy" like we'd probably get.

Does anybody have stats rating pitchers as fly ball vs. ground ball? I would wager our pitchers are probably more fly ball type pitchers, thus increasing the need for good defensive outfielders, which we have, and allowing the Os to play infielders who may not be stellar with the glove but good with the bat.

Didn't Turner play center field the other day? The O's braintrust at work.

Barkeep's Reply: I don't think so. Jonathan Tucker did, however.

Turner is definitely the best option

Dos Equis only if is dyed green

Go with the kid Turner, we already know what we have out there with Andino and Wigginton

When they do an epidural on the person's back in this type of situation, they are shooting a mixture of cortisone and other medicines directly into the spiral canal. It reduces the inflammation of the sciatic nerve and it also numbs the nerve, so it reduces the pain. He probably has a bulging disk that is pressing against the sciatic.

When you said Andino was having a solid spring, you meant with his defense right? Wasn't he like 1-20 or something till he had a break out game the other day? I wouldn't call that a solid spring...

---
Barkeep's Reply: He struggled early but again had two hits Tuesday and is now up to .280. And he has played solid defense.

Welcome back, Dan. Sorry I didn't stop in yesterday. I'll have to wander over to that topic and ponder that one a bit next. Are you putting green dye in all the taps today? I hope not. I'll have a Smithwick's, please. Rob K - the Orioles served Irish beer at their Octoberfest so you can drink Mexican beer on St Patty's day in an Irish bar if you want. It's still a free country.

At the beginning of the season it's Wigginton at second if Roberts can't go, though there is still time for Tucker to change my mind. Best case scenario, Wiggy does well enough to generate some trade value and they can move him for something worthwhile. He's hitting decently this spring, and he's experienced. But Tucker is certainly making his own case with his play so far. Longer term, I'd like to see Tucker on the ML roster.

Andrew, read Olneyogre's post. It's no laughing matter whether it's your back or your wife's chidbirth.

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Better question is, who replaces Trembley in June. With so many injuries, he's gonna be up against it.

Justin Turner. Wigginton looked to be in better shape from one photo I saw of him than he has in a long time but he is not a long term solution. What Roberts has could potentially be a long term problem. The answer should be Turner whose hit enough in his minor league career that it gives you the idea he can hold his own at the ML level. His fielding is solid enough and he does have the ability to play more than one position.

If it's a for a short period of time then they should go Wiggy. He's a pro and brings some pop in his back. But if BRob lands on the DL, then I'm all for starting Turner and seeing what you've got in him.

As someone else mentioned, this is not a team likely to make a playoff push; it's worth it to devote some time to find out if the kid is a major league caliber player (my guess: he isn't). But the difference between him and Wigginton over, say, a 20 game stretch is likely to be no more than one win. We know what Wiggy is, might as well find out about Turner.

Turner....and Dos Equis is appropriate every day.

Davey Johnson. If he's not up to speed then Robby Alomar.

Unless Turner catches fire (figuratively, of course, not Marty Cordova-style!), the O's should just get Wiggy with it in the event Roberts isn't ready to go. If Roberts goes on the DL, then bring up Turner as a backup. The infield defense is going to be interesting enough with Atkins at 1st and Miggy at 3rd. Starting Turner right now would put more pressure on him than he's probably ready for.

A shot of Jameson's and some Dropkick Murphys for the jukebox, barkeep...

---
Barkeep's Reply: Great musical choice and great line about Marty Cordova. Drink chip your way.

If Roberts can't play then I think Wigginton will start at second. If Reimold is not ready by Openning Day then I think Pie will start in left field. The Orioles can afford to wait a month or so on both and they already have adequate replacements.

why in the h would they ever consider trading for a substandard 2nd baseman when they have in house players who can do the job in an efficient manner? it's not like we are trying to make the playoffs. Jeez, use what you got, this shouldn't even be a conversation.

Showcase Wiggy. If he hits worth a darn, once Roberts is ready maybe we can trade him.

Let's see, althought there is a lot of potential in this year's pitching staff, it is still very shaky whether it's youth (Matusz, Bergesen, Tillman) or age (Millwood) or trying to recapture past success (Guthrie). That makes it a no brainer: you need the best defensive player out there, and that's definitely Andino. To those who say play Wiggy for his offense, please! Were you watching last year. Shot of Jamesons and a Smithwicks, por favor.

I would go with Andino because of his defense. I'm concerned about the fielding at third (Tejada) and first (Atkins). Roberts has been a doubles machine of historic proportions and a fine leadoff man. But his defense has deteriorated in the past two seasons. Last season, on balls hit to his right Roberts had poor arm strength.

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