Is Brian Roberts worth picking up? 

April, 3, 2013
I'm reasonably confident that the measly dollar I spent in a recent mixed-league auction on Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts was worth it. However, I really do have no degree of reasonable confidence as to whether Roberts will play in 20 games or 140 games this season. I'm rooting for him, for more important reasons than just fantasy baseball, but honestly, do you think even he knows what's going to happen this year?

But I had to crack a few smiles as Roberts singled twice and scored a run in Baltimore's 7-4 victory in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, because at least he's out there playing. He could have had three hits, but Rays third baseman Evan Longoria took a hit away from him on a diving play. Roberts, formerly one of the top middle infielders in the game over a six-year stretch, used to be a high-steal guy with double-digit-homer pop, including that magical, unrepeatable April 2005, when he bashed eight over the wall. Since a terrific 2009, he has dealt with myriad physical issues and has barely played. Even while Roberts was having a strong spring, not only seeing regular at-bats -- no Oriole had more -- but also hitting .310 with five walks and three stolen bases, it was tough to muster realistic optimism. However, if you want to talk about comeback stories, this is one to watch.

Brian Roberts
Cliff Welch/Icon SMI Brian Roberts was one of the top fantasy second basemen in the game as recently as 2009.
"It was fun," Roberts told reporters after Tuesday's game, in which he batted ninth and certainly looked like his old self. "Not that you forget how fun baseball was, but when you are out for such a long period of time, sometimes you forget what the atmosphere and energy is like and just the joy of playing the game. So it was great."