Tony Clark is my son wrote:[Roberts] is also on the Red Sox, who are in the same catagory as the A's: the Bill James persuasion.
I wouldn't assume, if given playing time in the Red Sox organization, that Roberts will be restrained on the basepaths. Roberts is a career 81% base-stealer. If you run the probabilities, stealing bases at that rate increases a team's chances of scoring runs.
I would think teams like the Athletics and Red Sox avoid using the stolen base as a tool of pure strategy or to "get something going" to conserve outs. That should decrease the number of attempts from average base stealers in Boston and Oakland. But statistical analysis on scoring probabilities support the decision to let someone with a sucess rate of 81% attempt to steal bases.
This all seems like a moot point, however, as baring an injury, Roberts is only going to see spot duty.