Joe Girardi Happy With Brian Roberts’ Start


Apr 27, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Brian Roberts (14) doubles to left advancing a man during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Girardi said Saturday that he believes Brian Roberts is having a better start to the season than his numbers — which include a .235 batting average — might suggest.

"“I know the numbers don’t necessarily stick out, but if you were to look at all the hard hit balls that he’s had, he’s swung the bat better than his numbers indicate. I’ve had a couple conversations with him, joking about trying to be a little bit smarter where he hits the ball. And it’s kind of to get the guy to loosen up a little bit and not put so much pressure on himself.” ("

The second baseman had his third three-hit game of the season in the Yankees’ 14-inning loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, when he went 3-for-6 with a run scored. Through three games in May, he is hitting .308.

Girardi reiterated that it’s early in the season and that it’s more important for a player like Roberts to focus on how he’s swinging the bat, rather than simply focusing on his numbers.

"“I think sometimes you can look at your numbers and be frustrated as opposed to looking at how hard and how good your at-bats are. He can do some good things. I’ve been pleased with his at-bats. He’s not found a way not to hit it at people.”"

Roberts, currently in his fourteenth season, spent the first 13 years of his career in Baltimore with the Orioles. There, he had at least 175 hits in a season six times. He signed a one year contract with the Yankees in December.