More than a quarter of the 2014 MLB season has now been played. One of the biggest players that switched teams over the offseason was Robinson Cano leaving the New York Yankees and signing a massive 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees had to find a replacement for the five time All-Star and arguably the best active second baseman in all of MLB.
The replacement was a former All-Star, Brian Roberts. Roberts has not played in more than half a season since 2009. The Yankees took a risk in signing him, but they were not going to take much of a risk, only signing him to a one year deal.
This season, Roberts has gone beyond expectations. The franchise knew when looking, they were not going to get numbers similar to what Cano has been able to put up for the last five years. Roberts actually has as many home runs as Cano with one. Roberts also has about the same patience at the plate drawing up 13 walks, and Cano having 14. Cano does continue to keep his batting average above .300, where Roberts is about 30 points shorter than his season average only carrying a .240 average with him to the plate. Cano also has more than double the RBI total than Roberts, but baseball fans grow to expect that with Cano batting third, the traditional slot for the team’s best hitter, and Roberts will find himself on the bottom half of the lineup for the Yankees for as long as he plays in New York.
Another big thing for Roberts is he has played in 36 of the Yankees 43 games, and all of them were at second base. Manager Joe Girardi has not put him in the DH slot, and will continue to use his above-average defense as long as he can. This is great for the Yankees, who as a team continue to be injury prone. Only Roberts can continue to contribute as much as he has to the team, and they are fortunate enough that he has been a positive signing for the first quarter of the season.