Josh Collmenter was pitching great, and yet the D-backs seemed ready to waste another one of the rookie’s outings.
Collmenter had not allowed a run through six innings, yet the D-backs only led 1-0. With two outs and Chris Young on base, Ryan Roberts stepped to the plate…and hit a two-run home run.
“This guy…I absolutely love Ryan Roberts,” Sports 620 KTAR’s Ron Wolfley said on the Doug and Wolf show. “This is a player that I have great regard for.
“As you know, he’s a player you’d like to have as a utility infielder, that’s what I think. He’s a guy you don’t really want to be in the everyday lineup; he’s a guy you love to go to.”
Yeah, that’s probably Roberts’ lot in life on the diamond. His value lies as much with his ability to play multiple positions as it does to play them well, though he is having a career year with the D-backs.
Because really, a .263 average with 13 home runs, 40 RBI, 51 runs scored and 13 stolen bases are numbers a starter would put up, not a utility guy. That probably won’t help Roberts.
“He’s a pro, he’s a professional, he’s a guy you’re always going to try to replace.”
Of course, if Roberts keeps hitting like this it will be incredibly difficult for manager Kirk Gibson to keep him out of the lineup.
And besides, as Doug Franz said on the show, Roberts is the type of guy every team could use.
“Every championship team has a Ryan Roberts type, so you need Ryan Roberts,” he said. “But you need him as a guy who starts at third one day for your regular third baseman.
“It’s almost like he’s your ninth fielder, minus the pitcher, where he can almost play every day by always giving your real starters rest.”
But, Franz said, if Roberts is your starting third baseman “you have a hole at third base.”
Ahh, such is the life of the utility man. The team needs you, but doesn’t want you.
Or something like that.