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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Early question: Should second base be up for grabs?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Apr 14, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Brian Roberts

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

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95 Responses to “Early question: Should second base be up for grabs?”

  1. JonS April 14th, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    You gotta ride the Solarte train until the wheels fall off. If Roberts isn’t playing second, he ones a dfa candidate.

  2. Jerkface April 14th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Not hitting and with a balky back, there is no way Roberts should be counted on going forward. 2B should definitely be up for grabs.

  3. Mottsx April 14th, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Austin,

    Age and injuries have something to do with it. But wasn’t it Jeters missed who missed a double play ground ball up the middle that lead Nova’s implosion against Baltimore. It’s not going to be the last time the lack of range is a problem this year… or even this month.

    If they continue to shift and something like a check swing single is going to rattle our pitchers then its going to be a long season.

  4. Shame Spencer April 14th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I feel bad for Roberts. He was a good solid player. But those years seem well behind him now. If Tex were healthy I’d imagine Solarte would’ve taken over his spot already.

  5. Jerkface April 14th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    At 3 wins, you are presuming that Drew can replicate his Fenway Park numbers…Not sure I buy that assumption.

    No, he was a 3 WAR player in Arizona as well, and why would he not be able to replicate his fenway park numbers? He is a lefty, and while Fenway is a good hitters park regardless of numbers its worse for lefties than it is righties. NYS meanwhile is a neutral park unless you are a lefty in which case its very favorable. So if anything I’d expect Drew to improve offensively coming to the Yankees.

    Basically when healthy, Drew is a 3+ WAR player. Health is his issue and in any other situation I’d probably be against signing him but the Yankees are really pressing their luck with the IF as currently assembled.

    They already tried to sign peralta & drew this offseason, so they clearly felt some need for real players at the positions.

  6. Mottsx April 14th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Cervelli’s MRI results have not been made public yet, but manager Joe Girardi said he expected Cervell to wind up on the disabled list.

    “If that’s a Grade 3 strain, you’re looking at two months,” the source said of Cervelli.

  7. BoJo April 14th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    JF–I discount his Arizona numbers just as you discount Roberts’ past numbers (due to injuries since then). I think it is much more likely that Cashman tries to wait for Ryan to come back, or tries to acquire a small piece in trade.

    BTW–I think Roberts’ second half last year buys him a little more time before they pull the plug. Platers can get off to slow starts and still come back strong. I think Girardi will give him until May at least.

  8. Hankflorida April 14th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    When the Yankees had Home run hitting 2nd basemen except for Cano and they had Lazzari and Gordon playing that position, their catcher, 3rd and SS were not known for the long ball. In the Berra era, most 2nd basemen were table setters. Having McCaan continue that blueprint is fine except the reality that two of our outfielders are also table setters and power must come from a position like 3rd base. If Johnson fits the bill with power, then Solarte, Roberts or Sizemore can play the role of the long line of those banjo hitting players that covered the right side of the infield.

  9. Shame Spencer April 14th, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Back problems are just the worst..they’re chronic and pop up again out of nowhere. I’m sure Roberts will get plenty of time – the Yanks are always partial to vets – but I can’t see him being the starting 2B for the majority of this season.

  10. BoJo April 14th, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Also–regarding Roberts…I thought you made a very interesting point yesterday about the effect of concussions on reaction time and overall recovery of a player. I believe they now have better tests to judge the effects of concussions (could be wrong on this) because IIRC they tested Posada and determined he was too far gone. I have to presume they tested Roberts before signing him and that he was cleared and his reactino tome is good. Don’t know for sure, but I hope so.

  11. Jerkface April 14th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

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  12. Giuseppe Franco April 14th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Shame Spencer April 14th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I feel bad for Roberts. He was a good solid player. But those years seem well behind him now. If Tex were healthy I’d imagine Solarte would’ve taken over his spot already.

    —–

    It may be early yet but it appears your >100 games wager is looking pretty good right now.

  13. Russell Munson April 14th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Drew is not a 3 WAR player. In his career he’s averaged less than 2 WAR per season.

  14. Shame Spencer April 14th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    GF – I would like to lose every bet I made this off season..but I think the odds are in my favor.

  15. Giuseppe Franco April 14th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Shame Spencer April 14th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    GF – I would like to lose every bet I made this off season..but I think the odds are in my favor.

    —-

    I think so too. And it didn’t take a genius to see it coming a mile away.

    This infield was a disaster waiting to happen since Day 1.

  16. Mottsx April 14th, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Grade 2 strain for Cervelli. 6-8 weeks?

  17. sammiejohnson April 14th, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Mark Feinsand ?@FeinsandNYDN 2m

    Francisco Cervelli’s MRI revealed a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring, sending him to the DL for what should be at least a month.

  18. Jerkface April 14th, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Drew is not a 3 WAR player. In his career he’s averaged less than 2 WAR per season.

    Averaged 3 WAR from 2008 to 2010 and hit that mark again in 2013 after 2 injury riddled seasons. He is a 3 WAR player when he can play most of a full season. Hit 3 with 130 games and 120 games in 2o f those years.

  19. Mottsx April 14th, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Romine can’t come up for 10 days correct?

  20. Madrugador April 14th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I’d like to see Solarte get most of the time at second but Joe’s history is to stick with the veteran too long.

    Anyone else starting to think that Cervelli’s injuries are not just a series a freak accidents and more a sign of poor durability? The guy just can’t stay on the field.

  21. Giuseppe Franco April 14th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Cervelli sure has had a lot of bad luck with injuries the last few years.

    PEDs, PEDs, PEDs!!!!!

    Someone was going to say it…..

  22. Shame Spencer April 14th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    They traded Nunez for an actual player (I thought for sure Nunez would get a PTBNL) and could’ve traded Cervelli for something better.

  23. RSM April 14th, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    “Romine can’t come up for 10 days correct?”
    __________________________________________________

    He does not need to wait 10 days if he’s being called up for an injured player going on the DL, which is the case.

  24. Russell Munson April 14th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    “Averaged 3 WAR from 2008 to 2010 and hit that mark again in 2013 after 2 injury riddled seasons.”
    ================================
    Staying healthy is a skill and I don’t think anything a player did 5 or 6 years ago is very useful when it comes to telling us how good a player is now.

    “Actually, Russell, his WAR is 2.8 on a 162 game basis.”
    ================================
    See above. Drew can not play in 162 games. He is lucky if he can play 130.

  25. 86w183 April 14th, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    What Drew’s WAR is on a 162-game basis is irrelevant since he has never played more than 152 in any season and has only topped 135 games three times in eight seasons.

    He’s a pretty good player who is expensive, 31 and injury prone and he has NEVER played anywhere but SS. Only on this blog is he viewed as a solution to potential 2B or 3B woes.

    I’d like to see them play Beltran at 1B for a few days. Johnson at 3B and Solarte at 2B could be a nice, effective combo.

  26. Russell Munson April 14th, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Do PEDs help you stay healthy or do they just speed up recovery time?

  27. 86w183 April 14th, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Superhero Schiil —-

    His WAR per 162 games shows what his maximum productivity would be.

    His average WAR/season shows what actual productivity has been.

    Reality is more relevant than possibility, wouldn’t you agree?

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