Orioles Holding Their Breath on Derrek Lee, Brian Roberts

Our weekly look at one item tying together each of the Red Sox' AL East rivals examines the Orioles, who are itching for one of their big offseason acquisitions, as well as one of their holdovers, to get into the action.

As David Ortiz has said more than once this spring, Baltimore has some "thunder" in its lineup after a series of offseason moves filled the roster with some power bats. One of those bats is first baseman Derrek Lee, but the 35-year-old, who had surgery this offseason to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, has yet to get into a game as he deals with right wrist tendinitis.

Lee has said he is not concerned about being ready for Opening Day and an MRI came back clean.
While the O's wait it out with Lee, they prepare to do the same with second baseman Brian Roberts.

Limited to just 59 games last year due to a herniated disc in his lower back, Roberts has been shut down until the club can figure out what is causing relentless back spasms.

An MRI is planned for Saturday, and Roberts will be kept from doing any baseball activities until at least Tuesday.

With new starters at third base (Mark Reynolds), shortstop (J.J. Hardy) and first base (Lee) and a healthy Roberts, Baltimore liked its new-look infield. For now, the right side of it remains on the sidelines.

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