Sep 12, 2013

Former Mets Reliever: Grant Roberts (2000-2004)

Grant William Roberts was born September 13, 1977 in El Cajon California. Roberts was a tall right hander, drafted by the New York Mets in the 11th round of the 1995 draft. His career began as a starter going 9-1 in his second pro season at Kingsport in the Rookie League.

In 1997 he was the South Atlantic League’s pitcher of the year going 11-3 posting a 2.36 ERA while averaging nine strikeouts a game. He needed elbow surgery the next season and was never the same pitcher again.

He converted to a reliever and was promoted to the Mets staff in the 2000 NL Pennant season. He made his debut on July 27th against the Montreal Expos and got knocked out of the game in the 2nd inning after giving up six earned runs, six hits & three walks. In September he appeared in three more games, including a four inning one hit performance on the last day of the season.

Roberts did not appear in any post season games. His ERA for the year was 11.57 allowing nine earned runs over seven innings. He was a middle reliever for the Mets over the next four seasons, enjoying his best year in 2002 going 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA, striking out 31 batters in 45 innings. In June his ERA was 0.59 but then he suffered rotator cuff problems that sidelined him for two months.

Drama: That summer Newsday published a photo of him that was taken back in 1998, as he was smoking marijuana from a bong. He was also linked to pot smoking during that season with a few other of his team mates. Roberts claimed in his defense, that the picture came from an old girlfriend who was trying to extort money from him.

In 2003 injuries kept him out until August, when he returned to get credit for a save & four holds, but went 0-3 with a 3.79 ERA. In 2004, his Spring Training went well & he was being considered for a starting role by pitching Coach Rick Peterson.

But then another rotator cuff injury did him in for good. He only pitched in four innings all year, allowing nine earned runs, which included giving up two HRs. He was released that winter and came up dirty for steroid use. He got suspended along with seven other minor leaguers, missing more action.

In May of 2005 the AL NY team signed him, but he was released three months later ending his career. A once promising career was ruined by injuries, pot smoking, steroid use & scandals.

Overall in his five year career he made 76 appearances going 4-4 with one save 77 strike outs 37 walks in 101 innings pitched posting a 4.25 ERA.

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