For the struggling Ryan Roberts, little has gone according to plan this season. So when Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson announced Josh Bell would be taking over the reins at third base, yet another blow was dealt to a player who showed so much promise last year.
Roberts, a consummate professional, accepts his role as a utility player and is willing to do whatever it takes to help the D-backs regain their winning ways.
“He’s got a lot to give to this team and I think he understands it,” Gibson told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Tuesday. “He gets it and he’ll prepare accordingly.”
The 31-year-old certainly scuffled in April, hitting an abysmal .152 in 66 at-bats with 15 punchouts. Roberts started to fare better with the bat in May but continued to struggle mightily with his defense, accumulating the second most errors in the majors with six.
“He’s swinging the bat pretty good,” Gibson said. “Our situational hitting has not been good at all. He’s made some errors at third base and his throwing has not been as good as we hoped to see.
“We’d like to see his approach be more up the middle especially when you get two strikes, you can’t be pulling off balls with two strikes.”
Gibson remains confident in Roberts’ ability to turn it around and become the productive player he once was.
“You look at how [Roberts] started out last year as a great utility guy,” Gibson explained. “So he’ll probably give Aaron Hill some spells over there at second base. He’s still going to play some third base for us, still try to keep him involved and get him back on track and playing the way he can play with reckless abandon.”