Sox Designate Ryan Roberts For Assignment

Ryan RobertsRed Sox utility man Ryan Roberts was designated for assignment earlier this week after batting .105 with a run scored and three walks over 22-plate appearances.

Signed as a short-term injury replacement for third baseman Will Middlebrooks on April 7th, Roberts was expected to serve as a temporary stopgap solution while Middlebrooks worked his way back into the Red Sox lineup from the disabled list, but that never happened. Roberts went just 2-for-19 with two bases empty singles, struck out over thirty percent of the time and was 0-for-11 versus left-handed pitchers.

As expected, Roberts has cleared waivers and has accepted an assignment to AAA Pawtucket

The 33-year old Roberts may have been doomed even before putting on a Red Sox uniform. Released at the tail end of Spring Training by the Chicago Cubs, Roberts had been out of baseball for about two weeks and the time away, while not really that long, was long enough to disrupt the timing of the aging utility man and make his stay in Boston a shade under two weeks.

Roberts does have some value to the Red Sox going forward, but he has to show that he can at least maintain a decent batting average against AAA pitching or play exceptional defense in order to be reconsidered for a promotion at some point in the future.

In 2013, Roberts appeared in 37 AAA games for the Durham Bulls splitting time between the Bulls and Rays. His first stint in the minors since 2010.

Injuries can and will happen over the long season and Roberts is only a rolled ankle away from making the drive back up 95.

Over the course of his baseball career, Roberts has been able to hit well against lefties and this ability makes him at least worth a stash in AAA for the time being. The Red Sox have already seen their fair share of injuries, over the first four weeks of the season, and having serviceable big leaguers waiting in the wings is a luxury that most clubs do not have.

Sox Sign Infielder Ryan Roberts

Sox Sign Infielder Ryan Roberts

The Red Sox have signed veteran infielder Ryan Roberts to a Major-League contract today and have added him to the 25-man roster.

The 33-year old spent the entire 2013 season with the Tampa Bay Rays splitting time between AAA and the Major League level.

The need for a move escalated over the weekend after the team added starting third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the 15-day disabled list.

Middlebrooks has been diagnosed with a Grade-1 calf strain and now joins outfielder Shane Victorino on the DL.

The injury to Middlebrooks is not considered to be serious, but is expected to keep the slugger sidelined for up to three weeks.

The addition of Roberts gives the Sox some much needed infield bench depth and a viable short-term injury replacement for Middlebrooks.

Roberts is capable of playing six positions, but has seen the bulk of his playing time at third base with 1,737 innings logged over 217 games including 195 starts.

At third base, for his career, Roberts features a 5.9 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) and a .958 fielding percentage.

In 2013, Roberts hit .247 with five home runs and 17 RBI over 60 games for the Rays.

To make room for Roberts on the roster, the Red Sox optioned Brock Holt to AAA Pawtucket and transferred pitcher Steven Wright to the 60-Day DL.

New Sox utility man Jonathan Herrera will make his third-straight start at third base tonight against the Texas Rangers.