But he still has a resilient batting eye and an ability to put the ball in play. A .257 batting average isn’t what Roberts used to be about, seeing as he is a lifetime .279 hitter, despite woeful averages the past two seasons.
My point is this: In a lineup that has struggled to maintain a lofty number of runs scored, Roberts’ .320 on-base percentage and low strikeout numbers perhaps could be put to better use.
I once suggested to then-manager Dave Trembley that Roberts should bat higher in the order, to coax him into being a bona fide run producer. I thought current skipper Buck Showalter used great vision in having Roberts bat eighth and ninth from the beginning of the season until now. There was no reason to heap on added pressure to a year of renewal for the Orioles’ popular second baseman.
But that was then, and this is now. Showalter needs to improve his vision and get his most productive batters better bunched. It says here that a move of Roberts up to No. 2, with Manny Machado slotted in a more traditional run-producing spot, might really help this lineup.
Perhaps Showalter will think throwing Machado into a more pressurized spot at this time during his first full season would be the wrong move. If so, put Roberts at No. 5 or 6 in the order.
What has been an eye opener for this observer is that Roberts can still be a productive hitter, and, with the lack of consistent production and power from catcher Matt Wieters and right fielder Nick Markakis, it’s time for Showalter to get creative in order for his lineup to become more productive.
A larger dose of B-Rob in the O’s lineup could be just what the doctor ordered.
Take a drink from his special cup, Stan “The Fan”.
Posted: August 27, 2013 at 07:24 AM | 23 comment(s)
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