Roberts' playing time hasn't suffered

Roberts' playing time hasn't suffered

Roberts' playing time hasn't suffered
PHOENIX -- After the D-backs called up Josh Bell on Monday from Triple-A Reno, Ryan Robert's role on the team moving forward was left up in the air.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson originally hinted Bell would become the everyday third baseman, but Roberts has started five consecutive games, three at third and two at base.

"When we came back from the last road trip, I sat down with [third base coach] Matt Williams and [Roberts]," Gibson said. "We talked to him about being a baseball player and who we thought he was. We tried to get him back on track. He responded to it."

What exactly did he respond to?

"I wanted him to be more understanding of where he is in the lineup and his offensive approach," Gibson said. "If I ask him to bunt, bunt the ball. Stay on the ball more, up the middle more. We kind of think a middle approach is better because it gives him more length in his swing. He tries to do too much sometimes. He cares. If he has a short swing, it's in and out of the zone. And then, defensively, just preparing every day a certain way, make sure he gets in the weight room, just went over some things. It's been very good."

In his first 10 plate appearances since Bell joined the team, Roberts had a single, double, homer, sac bunt, sac fly, walk and RBI groundout. He's hitless so far against the Brewers, however, going 0-for-7 in the first two games of the series. He batted seventh and played third on Sunday.

"Rhino is a dirtbag baseball player, and I say that in a very complimentary way," Gibson said. "He can do a lot. He's versatile, both offensively and defensively. He brings a lot for this team. I've asked him to do some things in preparation, he's done them. He deserves to play."