|A crowd favorite in the Diamondbacks' surprising 2011 playoff season, third baseman Ryan Roberts hadn't been quite the lefty masher he had been in past seasons. Arizona designated the 31-year-old for assignment this week and found a taker in the Rays, who gave up Double-A infielder Tyler Bortnick for Roberts. The move allows the Diamondbacks to active utilityman John McDonald from the disabled list and also clears the way for Triple-A Reno third baseman Ryan Wheeler to pick up playing time down the stretch.
Tampa Bay figures to use "TatMan" in its platoon-heavy infield as it tries to fill the gaps until Evan Longoria returns to health. Roberts still produces against lefthanders, posting a .269/.327/.409 line this season after hitting them to the tune of .278/.392/.489 last season.
|Tyler Bortnick, 2b
Age: 24. Born: Jul 3, 1987 in Mentor, Ohio.
Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 185.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Coastal Carolina.
Career Transactions: Selected by Rays in 16th round of 2009 draft; signed June 12, 2009.
Bortnick has a profile that resembles Roberts' minor league days in some ways in that he's a scrappy second baseman with average size who hits much better against lefthanded pitchers. Bortnick signed for just $5,000 out of Coastal Carolina and lacks a plus tool, but he's a skilled player offensively, which gives him some value. He was rated as having the best plate discipline in the Rays organization last year and also earned plaudits in the system for his bunting ability. He's a smart baserunner with average speed if not a tick above; he's stolen 65 bases and been caught just seven times the last two seasons.
A college shortstop, Bortnick fits better at second, which he has played exclusively the last two seasons, and a utility future is his best shot at the big leagues. With his .385 slugging percentage so far at Double-A Montgomery a career low, he likely lacks the power to be a big league regular and in many respects resembles current Diamondbacks farmhand Jake Elmore, who's lighting up the Pacific Coast League at Triple-A Reno.
|Ryan Roberts, 3b
Age: 31. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: Under contract for $2.0125 million this season, then arbitration-eligible for 2013-15 seasons.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.