2018 Pinstripe Preview: David Robertson
Midway through the 2017 season, Robertson was brought back to his former team in a blockbuster trade. He certainly had some lows throughout the season, especially in some big moments, but he was overall exceptional for the Yanks. There were rumors going around this offseason that Robertson could potentially be moved to free up cap room to sign a big name free agent. Although this could've been entertained by the front office, these rumors were likely not at all true as Robertson is a fan favorite and arguably the Yankees best, most consistent reliever.
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Through the inconsistencies of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman last season, Robertson provided a stable for the Yanks out of the bullpen. After coming over from the White Sox and returning to his former team, he pitched lights out for a team that surprisingly needed bullpen help. In 35 innings with the Yanks, D Rob allowed just four runs (1.03 ERA) while only allowing 14 hits and striking out 51 (13.1 K/9). For the year, in 61 games between the White Sox and Yankees, Robertson accumulated a 2.9 WAR, Wins Above Replacement, with 1.8 of that coming with the runner-up in the AL. In the playoffs, one outing put a major dent to his overall numbers. Down two runs heading into the bottom of the eighth of the ALCS, Robertson got shelled by the Astros offense, allowing four runs, all earned, while not even registering an out in the inning. That performance led to the Astros easily taking that Game 6 and going on to winning the series. He struggled in a few moments for the Yanks, but overall one can't ask for much more.
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For the 2018 season it'll certainly be interesting to see the kind of role Robertson has in the bullpen. Chapman has the closer spot locked up, as he looked like he returned to the normal flamethrower we’re used to at the end of 2017. Betances is unlikely to compete for the setup role, at least until he can be trusted and get his control down, if ever. Adam Warren isn't a threat to taking away high leverage situations from Robertson either. Chad Green, who may have been even better than Robertson last season, could potentially compete with Robertson for that eighth inning role, but with him reportedly coming into Spring Training as a starter, that's unlikely for now. Tommy Kahnle is certainly a gamer, but David Robertson is overall probably the most trusted guy in the bullpen. He should still be pitching in plenty of close game situations, even with a what should be revitalized bullpen.
Robertson is as consistent as it gets and has also been known for his durability during his time in the majors. A team with high expectations that had their 2017 season ended in a disappointing way, David Robertson will be a crucial part to getting this team back to the ALCS and potentially the World Series.
Article by: Spencer SchultzFollow @spenceschultz63