Here’s Brian Roberts’ OPS through 13 games: .429.
That’s more than 150 points lower than the second-worst OPS on the Yankees active roster (assuming Cervelli is heading to the DL). Roberts went 3-for-4 in the second game of the season, and he’s had just one hit since. He has two stolen bases and he’s drawn a team-high eight walks, but he’s also hitting just .129 without an extra-base hit.
With or without a back injury, is it fair to wonder whether Roberts’ everyday status is near the end of a short leash?
Granted, it’s awfully early to start making conclusions, but after four years of injuries, Roberts was no longer a proven commodity coming into the season. He’d been healthy through the second half of last season, and he’d been pretty productive late last year, but he still came into spring training an unusual kind of unknown. He was perfectly familiar, but it was hard to know how well he could perform — or how often could play — after so much lost time.
Because of that uncertainty, Roberts’ early numbers stand out a little more. Brian McCann isn’t hitting much either, but he hit at least 20 home runs each of the past six years. It’s easier to dismiss McCann’s early numbers. Harder to dismiss Roberts’ struggles.
With Mark Teixeira eligible to come off the disabled list in a week, is it possible that Roberts has a week to turn things around or else risk losing his regular status? Teixeira will naturally move back to first base. Kelly Johnson’s been plenty productive, so he’ll keep getting regular at-bats at either second and third. What’s left is to decide between Roberts and Yangervis Solarte.
Even if Solarte’s red hot arrival hasn’t won him 100 percent of the playing time, it’s surely won him a share of the at-bats.
Associated Press photo