SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While D-backs manager Kirk Gibson would like to get Geoff Blum some playing time at third base, he made it clear Tuesday that Ryan Roberts was the starter.
"Ryan Roberts is my third baseman," Gibson said. "Ryno did a great job for us last year and he's going to get the majority of the playing time right now."
Roberts hit his way onto the team last spring and appeared in 143 games hitting .249 with 19 homers and 65 RBIs. Heading into Tuesday's game, Roberts was hitting .205 with three homers.
"It could always be better," Roberts said. "Some days I feel good, some days I feel like I'm searching. I've hit the ball hard, I've hit the ball soft, I've got out. I've gotten base hits doing the wrong thing, I've gotten base hits doing the right thing. I'm not looking too much into it. I'm just trying to get to where I feel comfortable. That's the main thing."
Blum was signed to a two-year deal before the 2011 season but was not a big contributor as he missed 127 games due to injury.
This year, Gibson would like to see Blum get more playing time, but his balky right knee is not at the point where it could sustain an everyday role. Even during the spring, Gibson is taking it slowly with Blum.
"I personally would feel uncomfortable playing him two nine-inning games in a row right now," Gibson said.