If you are looking for a reason the Baltimore Orioles haven’t been able to consistently score runs in 2010, I give you just two words: Brian Roberts. Proving that the 32-year-old second baseman is one of the most underrated leadoff men in baseball, the Orioles have struggled to score without their primary table setter.
Given the quiet consistency Roberts has demonstrated over the last six seasons, it is perhaps easy to take his greatness for granted. Between 2004 and 2009, Roberts batted .290 and averaged 101 runs, 46 doubles, 35 stolen bases and 62 RBI while twice earning All-Star appearances.
In 2009, the Orioles averaged 4.62 runs per game and scored in the opening inning 53 times.
The Orioles have basically been without Roberts throughout all of the 2010 season as he has played in only four games.
Without their table-setter, the Orioles have been one of the worst offensive teams in baseball and are threatening to post one of the worst records in baseball history.
Baltimore is averaging only 3.25 runs per game and have scored in the opening inning only 14 times through the first 62 games of the season.
In place of Roberts, the Orioles have tried four other players at second base and seven others batting leadoff, but none have been able to come close to matching the production of Roberts.
It was hoped that Roberts would be back soon, but he has endured a couple recent setbacks and it is now unsure when he will return.
One thing is for sure, the Orioles will be glad to have him back in the lineup and hopefully he can provide a much-needed spark for an anemic offense.