Having Brian Roberts back and healthy this season was a really exciting prospect. And it was even more devastating when he went down in the first series of the year against Tampa with a hamstring injury. The Orioles have plugged that very big hole with Ryan Flaherty (who was in the fans’ doghouse until he recently starting swinging a hot bat) and Alexi Casilla (who has gotten a few big hits for the team in limited playing time).
Roberts’ impact in a game situation is huge. Many teams employ a 2 lead off’ hitter strategy, putting guys with speed and the ability to get n base in the 9 and 1 holes in the lineup. Using Nate McLouth and Roberts that way would make a potent offense that much more solid. But who goes in favor of Roberts? Could it be Flaherty? Ishikawa? Valencia? Ishikawa would be the most dangerous player to lose, since he is out of minor league options and the O’s don’t want to leave him on the table for the Yankees to pick up.