President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said he isn't sure whether the latest news on Brian Roberts is a setback until the club hears from Dr. Lee Riley, a back specialist at Johns Hopkins, "but clearly our preference would be to have him out on the field."
MacPhail repeated that he's alerted his scouts to be on the lookout for a potential replacement at second base, something he first told reporters on Tuesday when he admitted to having concerns about Roberts' availability for the opener.
"We've already started the process of trying to line up whatever options we may need, depending upon what kind of timeframe we might be dealing with," he said.
"Every day that goes by, I think you have to be less confident because it's one less day you have to get him the necessary at-bats and repetitions to be ready. We still have time, but he's going to have to get out there and get 40-or-so at-bats, I would think."
MacPhail isn't leaning in a particular direction when it comes to replacing Roberts in-house or acquiring a player from another organization, should it become necessary, but he gave Ty Wigginton a nice endorsement.
"I would say four or five days ago, a week ago, we alerted our guys (scouts) and we've been doing our due dilegence outside the organization," MacPhail said. "Right now, it's going to be up to Dave (Trembley) to look at his internal options. From my standpoint, Wiggy had about as good a day as you can have over there (in Tampa) yesterday. He's got some pedigree in terms of his major league experience, and to me, I'd like to see him get the lion's share, or at least some innings again over at second, to expand our options."