SARASOTA, Fla. -- Brian Roberts told reporters on Friday that he wanted to play as much as possible this spring, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter seems to agree.
"We've gone over the whole spring, we've sat down multiple times," Showalter said of Roberts, who is further along this camp than he has been in the previous two springs. "He will have a pair of [road] gray pants in his locker, unlike some of our guys.
"He wants to play as much as I'm willing to play him, [we're] going to emphasize the last seven to 10 days, I'm not going to beat him up, he's still getting ready for the season. But he will get more at-bats than he normally does in the spring."
Showalter was coy regarding whether Roberts would bat leadoff, but he did acknowledge that he'd like to move shortstop J.J. Hardy out of the second spot.
"I think his skill set serves him better and our team better somewhere else, but I'm not committed to that yet," Showalter said of Hardy, who hit .236/.281/.380 in 150 games out of the two-hole. "Just like last year he was our best option there, he did a good job for us. But I think we could put him in a better position to do what he does best if I can get him down [in the lineup] some. It's one of the things I'm hoping we feel comfortable doing when we break here."