Orioles 2B Roberts to start season on 15-day DL

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will begin the

season on the 15-day disabled list as he strives to return from a

concussion.

In other moves Monday, the Orioles optioned pitchers Brad

Bergesen and Jason Berken, along with infielder Matt Antonelli, to

Triple-A Norfolk and placed left-hander Zach Britton (back) on the

15-day disabled list.

In addition, Baltimore reassigned pitchers Dontrelle Willis and

Armando Galarraga, infielder Steve Tolleson, catcher John Hester

and outfielder Scott Beerer to their minor league camp.

Roberts played in only 39 games last year, none after May 16. He

has practiced with the Orioles this spring but has not participated

in an exhibition game.

Unlike last year, when the two-time All-Star rehabilitated alone

in Florida, he will return with the team to Baltimore next

week.

”I really didn’t want to be separated again, be down here away

from my teammates and kind of not feel a part of things,” Roberts

said.

He says being on the 15-day DL is an indication that the team

expects him to return in the near future. Although there is no

timetable, he says, ”I have hope that I’m coming back.”

Bergesen was 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA in spring training, with 12

hits allowed in 12 innings over five appearances. Last season, he

went 2-7 with a 5.70 ERA in 34 games, including 12 starts.

Berken didn’t make his spring debut until throwing a scoreless

inning on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies. He had been

sidelined with a strained hamstring.

”I talked to both of them about it and they seem to be upbeat

about starting down there,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”We just

feel like we have some people ahead of them right now. Berken got

behind the eight ball because of the leg. I hope they pitch well

and present options for us as starters. It’s not like they’re going

away. Hopefully, they’ll be depth for us and impact our club.

That’s going to kind of be up to them.”

Britton is shut down with left shoulder inflammation.

Showalter stopped short of saying that Rule 5 pick Ryan

Flaherty, a utility infielder, has made the club because Antonelli

and Tolleson could be brought back. However, Flaherty is likely to

win the job.

Antonelli batted .194 in 20 games, and Tolleson batted .286 in

19 games. Flaherty, selected from the Chicago Cubs’ organization,

is batting .279 with two doubles, two triples, one homer and eight

RBIs in 18 games.

Hester went 0 for 14. His removal from the camp roster indicates

that Ronny Paulino could back up Matt Wieters on opening day.