When the Yankees signed Brian Roberts, everyone, including Roberts, believed he was going to be the backup to Robinson Cano at second base. However, Cano signed a ten year contract with the Seattle Mariners and just like that, the Yankees didn’t have their homegrown second basemen anymore. Today, Joe Girardi announced the Yankees would have Brian Roberts play second base everyday–if he can stay healthy.
“That is the plan, for him to be our second baseman,” Girardi said on Monday. “I know he hasn’t played a full season in the last few years, he’s obviously a guy who has some age on him too, but my plan is to run him out there every day.
Roberts played in 77 games in 2013, the most games he’s played in since 2009, when he played in 159 games. Roberts had several injuries, but the injury that lingered the most were the concussions, an injury he dealt with for the past two years.
Although Roberts will play Cano’s old position, he doesn’t believe he’s going to be able to actually replace Cano.
“Robbie is such a special player, I’m not going to go in and be Robbie,” said Roberts, who signed for $238 million and nine years less than Cano’s 10-year deal. “Nobody will be. Our goal is to put nine guys on the field to win a game. My goal is to try and help us do that. I’m sure there are going to be people who are going to want to look out there and say, ‘He is not Robbie.’ I’m not going to be Robbie and I’m not going to try to be. I’m going to be Brian Roberts and hopefully that is good enough.”
Joe Girardi also announced Kelly Johnson would be the backup second basemen to Brian Roberts. Just a few days before, Girardi said Johnson would the backup first basemen to Mark Teixeira and the third basemen for the Yankees against right handed hitting. The fact Johnson is the everyday player for everyone in the infield sends a signal the Yankees are having issues with depth on the bench.
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