O's fill void with Roberts return

Brain Roberts' first at bat in the big leagues since April 10th was forgettable. Back in the leadoff spot Friday night, he grounded out to second - pretty uneventful.

Look closer.

Roberts saw seven pitches in that at bat. It's the little aspects of the game (like that) that make Roberts so valuable as the offensive table setter. He works the counts, forces a pitcher to throw a lot of pitches and in the process gives his teammates who follow him in the order a live mini scouting report.

His return is sure to help hitters like Miguel Tejada and Nick Markakis in both the hits and/or RBIs department. Roberts is a high on-base percentage guy, and when he gets on base he hops around like a jumping bean, distracting the pitchers. As a result, pitchers always have to be aware of the stolen base threat and will throw more fastballs.

Tee those up for MIggy and NIck.

Also look for Felix Pie to benefit. He's clearly not a true leadoff hitter and Juan Samuel acknowledged the outfielder isn't comfortable there. Now that Roberts is back, Pie can hit further down in the lineup where he's more comfortable.

Without Roberts in the lineup the past three months, it's clear something has been missing. Having their offensive catalyst back may help the O's finally find some consistency in the lineup.