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Roberts working on “getting his clock back” in early stages of rehab assignment

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

BALTIMORE — Three games into his minor rehab assignment, Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts thankfully hasn’t suffered any setbacks.

However, after a yearlong layoff from playing in real games, Roberts is still re-adjusting to the speed of the game at the minor-league level. In case anyone was wondering, that’s to be expected, according to manager Buck Showalter.

“He’s starting to get his clock back,” Showalter said. “If this thing, the way that he’s got it drawn it up and we have, he’d have the equivalent of spring training under his belt — at-bats-wise. He’d be in the mid-50s [for] plate appearances. He’s doing probably more work before the game [so far].”

Roberts has played second base and received six plate appearances in his first three games at Double-A Bowie before receiving the day off on Saturday. The 34-year-old has yet to collect a hit but has walked twice and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly on Friday night.

The plan is for Roberts to receive three plate appearances in Bowie on Sunday and Monday before heading to Single-A Delmarva on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he is expected to receive four plate appearances per game.

Beyond that, Showalter wants to discuss the remainder of the 20-day rehab assignment — ending on June 11 — with Roberts and expressed a desire for the veteran to finish the stint with games at Triple-A Norfolk.

Before going on his rehab assignment, Roberts acknowledged to reporters he’s thought about changes he might have to make in his style of play, particularly sliding feet-first instead of the headfirst slides that were a trademark of his career prior to the concussion-related issues. Showalter plans to discuss this with Roberts after he has stacked some more plate appearances, but he doesn’t envision a dramatically-different approach for the middle infielder and leadoff hitter.

“I’ll kind of believe that when I see it,” Showalter said. “I think he’s going to play the game with some energy. That’s the one thing — the couple games I saw — his clock isn’t quite there.”

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Order your delicious Baltimore Positive Taharka ice cream special 8-pack here!

Running the scoop shops is difficult during a pandemic so let Kowfi Dorman-El bring the deliciousness to you. And we'll save you $15.70 on every order beginning on Black Friday. Do you prefer pumpkin spice latte or egg nog? Make sure you get the sweet potato crumble!

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