Roberts remains the same

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts said he's having more good days than bad days, but he still can't provide a timetable for his exhibition debut this spring.

Nothing much has changed with Roberts. He's still taking ground balls and running sprints and taking batting practice from coaches.

"It's a pretty systematic approach," he said. "I don't just go and do whatever I want every day. My doctor lays out a plan each day and we kind of go by that."

Asked if he sees himself playing in games this spring, Roberts replied, "I look at today. That's it."

Roberts has been running sprints with Brady Anderson, a sign that his legs are feeling good.

"They're getting under me finally. Starting to get a little more explosive, a little more energetic," he said.

"I'd love to be out there from Day One doing everything and having no restrictions. There are times when it drives you nuts, but it is what it is at this point."

Roberts doesn't normally hit against pitchers in batting practice, so he regards his current setup as "regular BP."

"I don't know what the next step is," he said. "When we get to the point where I feel like I'm to the point where the next step is, I guess we'll figure out what the next step is. Even when I was healthy, I didn't hit off live pitchers before I played in games. I never liked doing that anyway, so we'll see what the next step is. I have no idea."

Roberts has been more visible in the clubhouse lately. It's easier to find him sitting at his locker and smiling with teammates.

"Nobody wants to be isolated in Sarasota by themselves for months at a time," said Roberts, who lives down here. "Obviously, there were young kids there, but it's not the same as being with your teammates and guys you go out and try to win games with every day. It's a lot different. It's always fun to be with those guys, of course."

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