Brian Roberts is retiring

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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.

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
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ATLANTA — After making just one start for the Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels is done for the season.

Hamels reported shortly before the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins that he didn’t feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Braves placed Hamels on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 18,, but that was a mere formality. General manager Alex Anthopoulos already contacted Major League Baseball about replacing Hamels in the team’s postseason player pool.

“Cole knows himself and his body,” Anthopoulos said. “You trust the player at that point when he says he can’t go.”

The Braves began Monday with a three-game lead in the NL East .and primed for their third straight division title.

Even with that success, Atlanta has struggled throughout the shortened 60-game series to put together a consistent rotation beyond Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson.

Expected ace Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, former All-Star Mike Foltynewicz was demoted after just one start, and Sean Newcomb also was sent to the alternate training site after getting hammered in his four starts.

The Braves have used 12 starters this season.

Anthopoulos had hoped to land another top starter at the trade deadline but the only deal he was able to make was acquiring journeyman Tommy Milone from the Orioles. He’s on the injured list after getting hammered in three starts for the Braves, giving up 22 hits and 16 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

“There’s no doubt that our starting pitching has not performed to the level we wanted it to or expected it to,” Anthopoulos said. “I know that each year you never have all parts of your club firing. That’s why depth is so important.”

Hamels, who signed an $18 million, one-year contract last December, reported for spring training with a sore shoulder stemming from an offseason workout.

When camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hamels was able to take a more cautious approach to his rehabilitation. But a triceps issue sidelined again before the delayed start of the season in July.

The Braves hoped Hamels would return in time to provide a boost for the playoffs. He also was scheduled to start the final game of the regular season Sunday, putting him in position to join the postseason rotation behind Fried and Anderson.

Now, Hamels is done for the year, his Braves’ career possibly ending after he made that one appearance last week in Baltimore. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk in a loss to the Orioles.

Hamels reported no problems immediately after his start, but he didn’t feel right after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“You’re not going to try to talk the player into it,” Anthopoulos said. “When he says he isn’t right, that’s all we need to hear.”

Atlanta recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson to replace Hamels on the 28-man roster. The Braves did not immediately name a starter for Tuesday’s game.

With Hamels out, the Braves will apparently go with Fried (7-0, 1.96), Anderson (3-1, 2.36) and Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.74) as their top three postseason starters.

Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a career record of 163-122. He starred on Philadelphia’s World Series-winning team in 2008 and also pitched for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs.