clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Give it up guys: the Roberts experiment is over

You got more than half a season of replacement-level play, which probably exceeded expectations. But just pull the plug already.


With the trade deadline looming, it seems the Yankees have not shown much intent on upgrading their second base spot. This is probably as much due to there not being an obvious upgrade out there as anything else, but it does look like help will not be coming from outside the organization. Oh well, there's plenty of other spots the team still can focus on, so that's not too much of a worry. What does need to be addressed is the team's reluctance to have Brian Roberts give up his seat as the incumbent at second base. His tenure was an incredibly uninteresting experience that changed us all forever, but it's time to move on.

Roberts hasn't played the last two games due to which is being described as "general soreness", which is pretty much the least surprising thing ever. He's played more games this season then he had since 2009 and he's almost 37. The worry here is that the Yankees are trying to convince themselves that this bit of rest is somehow going to revitalize the guy. Even when he was as fresh as a daisy he wasn't exactly playing at a high level, and as the miles have piled up on his odometer this year he's only been getting worse (88 first half wRC+, 19 second half wRC+).

There doesn't seem to be much of a point in banging on the Robert Refsnyder drum anymore, since short of him sneaking into Yankee Stadium and stealing Roberts' jersey it sounds like we won't be seeing him. Even Jose Pirela seems like some glorious pipedream, as a triple-slash of .313/.357/.437 over 100 games at AAA looks like a sufficient enough sample to at least have gotten consideration for the position. I'm thinking the Yankees just don't have a terribly high opinion of him at this point. Setting aside the options down on the farm, I'll take Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan getting the lion's share of playing time at this point.

Oh yes, I think Roberts is that cooked. Even with Johnson's less than inspiring offense, I think it's reasonable that he will be able to at least maintain that level of production at second upon his expected return on August 7th. Maybe he'll even show some positive regression to his numbers from last year. And at least you're getting some quality defense with Ryan, while Roberts has been an error-fest at second. The Yankees have no fewer than four options I think are better than Roberts at this point, and two of them have the "veteran presents" they seem so fond of.

There's a sliver of hope in the back of my mind that Roberts is close to losing his job, as optimistic as that may seem. And the change can't come too soon. A Johnson/Ryan combination is probably at best a small upgrade, but the team doesn't have a lot of room for error: any possible improvement should be looked into. And hey, maybe a miracle trade comes in today before the deadline. Or better yet the team brass stops putting hallucinogens in the Stadium's water supply and they realize that a minor leaguer actually has the potential to really help a major league squad. Ah nuts, there I go banging that pointless drum again.