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06/02/08 9:51 PM ET
Roberts gives advice to young Giants
Teammates get veteran's wisdom from injured outfielder
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dave Roberts hasn't played since April 7 and won't be ready to resume playing until July at the earliest. But he's still striving to help the team. Roberts, who's recovering from left knee surgery, has drawn upon his veteran's wisdom to help the Giants' younger players. Sometimes he'll provide lessons that are meant to offer long-term help, such as when he sat down infielders Emmanuel Burriss and Eugenio Velez in mid-May and reminded them of the importance of anticipating certain game situations. Frequently he'll offer advice about a particular pitcher, as he did Sunday, when he gave Brian Horwitz a quick synopsis of San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman. "Dave came up to me and told me he works away, away, away," said Horwitz, who concluded his first Major League start in fine fashion by singling off Hoffman to help fuel San Francisco's game-winning three-run rally in the ninth inning. Roberts, 36, is only too happy to share what he can. "It's a tough game," he said Monday. "If I can give some players some input that can make them better, I feel like it'll contribute to this team. It's good to know a lot of the kids we have are receptive to it. I definitely want the best for all these guys." Roberts noted that not all rookies want to listen to more experienced players. "You see it all the time, where some guys feel like they've got it figured out already -- they've got the game mastered," Roberts said. "But we're fortunate that we've got guys who realize they can get a whole lot better and it's going to make everybody better. That's why I think you're seeing a lot of good things from this team." Hoping to add to the Giants' achievements eventually, Roberts has begun engaging in baseball-related activities, playing light catch and taking a few swings off a hitting tee.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.