MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that infielder Brian Roberts has confirmed that he is retiring from baseball. Roberts played 14 seasons in the majors, 13 of which came with the Orioles. He spent the past year with the Yankees but had very little success at the plate, finishing with a .237/.300/.360 slash line along with five home runs, 21 RBI, and seven stolen bases in 348 plate appearances.
During his prime, Roberts was among the game’s best second basemen, earning two All-Star nominations while compiling 28 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball Reference) between 2003-09, an average of four WAR per season. In that span of time, only Chase Utley (42.1) was more valuable at second base than Roberts.
The latter part of Roberts’ career was marred by injuries. He missed most of spring training in 2010 with a herniated disc in his back. During the regular season, he was out 91 games with a strained muscle in his abdomen. In mid-May 2011, he suffered a concussion sliding head-first into first base and missed the rest of the season. The concussion symptoms lingered into 2012, as he didn’t make his debut until June 12. He tore his labrum onJuly 1, ending his season. Roberts had surgery for a sports hernia in the off-season as well. Roberts played in three games to begin the 2013 season, but quickly went back on the disabled list with a torn hamstring that required surgery, keeping him out 79 games.
Sadly, Roberts was simply the unfortunate recipient of the injury bug and just couldn’t stay healthy. One has to wonder how many more excellent seasons he had left in him otherwise. We wish Roberts the best of luck as he puts his playing days behind him.