ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles manager Dave Trembley said he never doubted that his Opening Day lineup card would have Brian Roberts' name at the top.
"[I] was confident he was going to be ready," Trembley said. "He told me he would be."
Still, seeing Roberts' name etched in the leadoff spot for Tuesday night's Rays-Orioles season-opening contest provided a welcome sign of relief.
"Everyone feels good when they see his name in the lineup," hitting coach Terry Crowley said of Roberts, whose spring debut was delayed until March 26 because of a herniated disc in his lower back. "You know if he gets on base, he gives you hope that you can make something happen.
"I feel good when I see his name in the lineup."
Roberts hit .211 with two doubles in 19 spring at-bats, and Crowley estimated that the second baseman's hitting is right where it should be for this time of year.
"He's played for an awful long time -- [he] knows what he needs to do to get ready," Trembley said. "You saw how he played toward the end of camp -- he gives you what he's got. We need that."