Yankees turn second base over to Roberts

New York won't need vet to be a superstar, just offer steady play in the infield
03/18/2014 12:31 PM ET
By Doug Williams

Background: Brian Roberts is a 36-year-old second baseman for the New York Yankees. Before signing with New York this offseason, Roberts had been with the Baltimore Orioles for the entirety of his 13-year MLB career. Roberts is a two-time All-Star but has played less than 80 games in the last four seasons due to injuries. He's a career .278 hitter and also has 278 career stolen bases.

2013 Season: Roberts played 77 games for the Orioles in 2013, and was hampered by injuries at the start of the season. He finished at .249 with 8 home runs and 39 RBI.

Greatest Strength: When Brian Roberts plays a full season, he is an All-Star caliber player. And that high ceiling is undoubtedly his greatest strength. His 162-game offensive averages are a .278 average with 11 home runs, 64 RBI and 34 stolen bases. The Yankees would be thrilled to get that this season.

Greatest Weakness: Roberts just can't seem to stay healthy, and he's not getting any younger. Joe Girardi has said that Roberts is unquestionably the starter at second base for the Yankees, and that's going to be a challenge for a guy who has missed 456 games in the last four seasons.

Prediction: There are likely two possible scenarios this season for Roberts. Either he will stay healthy, have a good season, and be a fan favorite in the Bronx like he was in Baltimore. Or, he will get hurt early in the season and play less than 80 games once again, leaving the Yankees to scramble and find a second baseman. If healthy, Roberts is a solid piece and will add both speed and power to the bottom of the Yankees lineup. 

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