Roberts improving, but held out of workouts

Roberts improving, but held out of workouts

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Brian Roberts was held out of workouts again on Friday, as the Orioles' second baseman continues to deal with neck stiffness, but he said that if it was the regular season he would be able to play.

"You play during the season hurt at times, and this isn't anything that would cause me to miss any games if it was the season right now," said Roberts, who missed his third consecutive day of workouts.

"You play sometimes feeling like a 10 on days, and then on days when you feel like a two. I'm getting better every day, and it's much better than it was two days ago."

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Roberts had X-rays taken on Wednesday, which came back negative. The pain was ruled a muscle spasm, and Roberts is leaving the decision on when he resumes workouts in the hands of the training staff.

"It's not my call," said Roberts, when asked if he would decide when he could return. "It's a group decision. This is the time of year when you want to get it completely healed before taking swings or making throws."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he would wait until Saturday before making any decision.

"He's a little improved," Showalter said. "We'll see what tomorrow brings."

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said there isn't any concern by the front office.

"There's no concern on our part, and there doesn't need to be," MacPhail said. "It's Feb. 25, and we'll take the prudent approach to the situation."

With Roberts coming off a season in which he played only 59 games due to a herniated disk in his lower back, the Orioles re-signed Cesar Izturis as a utility player, and inked Minor League deals with Nick Green and Brendan Harris to have options in the event that Roberts can't stay healthy. Robert Andino, who is competing for a bench spot, can also play second base.