Robertson as closer will be just fine

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During last night’s game, Michael Kay said something that bothered me. Granted, this isn’t something unique and it definitely happened multiple times last night. Can you believe that in 2013, we’ve still got an announcer talking about Adam Dunn through the lens of batting average? Ugh, that bothers the hell out of me. Anyway, I digress. Getting back to the point of this article, Kay said something about David Robertson that he’s said many times before, that he worries about D-Rob as the post-Mariano Rivera closer.

At its face, that’s a fair point. Going from Mo, the greatest relief pitcher ever, to anyone is going to seem like a downgrade. But Robertson is a damn fine relief pitcher and does just about everything that you want a reliever to do. He strikes lots of guys out; he gets ground balls; and he keeps the walks down. Kay, though, thinks Robertson throws too many pitches to be a closer and that this will hinder his ability to take the ball on back-to-back days and the like.… Click here to read the rest

Any Concern About D-Rob’s Workload?

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(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

With the Yankees standing to lose a few of their recent top homegrown players to free agency this offseason, Andrew Mearns of Pinstriped Bible looked ahead to the future free agency of 2 more players who fit that mold yesterday Monday.  Both David Robertson and Brett Gardner are due to become free agents after the 2014 season and Mearns brought up the idea of re-signing them to team-friendly deals before they hit the open market, questioning how risky a move it would be on the Yankees’ part to do so.

Gardner is a risk for obvious reasons, but D-Rob has never struck me as much of one.  He’s still just 28 and will be at the start of next season.  He’s never had much of a problem with arm injuries.  And he’s been as reliable a reliever in front of Mo as there’s been in the setup pool in baseball for the last few seasons.  … Click here to read the rest

The Continued Mo-volution Of David Robertson

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When David Robertson first broke into the Majors with the Yankees in 2008, he was not all that dissimilar from what Shawn Kelley is today.  He had stuff for days and had a long list of strikeout victims to back it up, but he was so hot and cold with his command that he could get into trouble quickly.  D-Rob’s “fireman” knack for getting out of jams and making his best pitches in big moments earned him a permanent spot in the ‘pen almost from the moment he came up, and over the last 5+ seasons he’s worked his way up the ladder to become Mariano Rivera‘s setup man and one of the best all-around relief pitchers in baseball.  While many other pitchers have tried to learn from the G.O.A.T., perhaps none have taken more away from working with Mo than D-Rob.

This season, Robertson has pitched to a 2.76/3.09/2.82 slash in 16.1 innings.  He’s gotten burned a bit on some homers, but his strikeout rate is as healthy as ever, his velocity is up, and he’s got a solid GB rate.  … Click here to read the rest

Just one more day …

Tonight, the 2013 Major League Baseball season begins, with the Texas Rangers playing the Houston Astros. The most beautiful thing about the baseball season is that it changes how I spend my leisure time. Nothing on TV tonight? They always play baseball. Can’t think of something to do after work? Call a buddy and watch some baseball. Don’t know how to spend time on a sunny afternoon? Upper deck tickets are cheap on Stub Hub and the 4 train moves fast. 162 games plus the playoffs means something to do, something to watch and something to talk about for half the year, and in terms of weather it’s the better half of the year.

After the gift of always having something entertaining to do, my second favorite thing about the baseball season is following story lines. Most Yankee fans are upset because the team enters 2013 in the weakest state that it has been in since 2008. Not only is the team not favored to win the AL East, but many believe the team will miss the playoffs.… Click here to read the rest

Nothing To See Here Except David Robertson Victimizing Mark Reynolds

Last week, I talked a bit about David Robertson reverting back to his curveball in September. It wasn’t a huge jump, but at a 22% selection on his breaking pitch, it was a big improvement over his 84% cutter rate in August.

What I left out of my last article was how effective his curveball looked in September. It’s a huge reason he became a top reliever over the past few years, and he threw it with a 21% whiff rate in that final month of the season. Couple that with an absolute inability for hitters to make contact with the it, a 5.8% in play rate, and you get an extremely dominant pitch. But I don’t remember it ever looking like it did on Monday night against the Orioles.

That’s one of the best curveballs I’ve ever seen. Not only is the vertical sink at nearly 12 inches (the league average is 5.3), but the pitch remains at a strong 80 mph with good movement away from Reynolds.… Click here to read the rest

Robertson Improves Cutter And Throws More Curveballs

A little over a month ago I wrote about David Robertson looking like Mariano Rivera. Although September wasn’t his most stellar month, there were a few signs that he’s still evolving as a pitcher. For one, the drop off in curveball selection from August ended in September, where he doubled his amount of breaking pitches from 24 to 47.

More importantly, Robertson also showed a much better ability to throw the cutter with high horizontal movement away from right handed hitters. With an overall increase in movement, Robertson went from a 3.4% whiff rate on the cutter in August, to a 9.1% rate in September. What I focused on in my last article was how well he’d copied Mariano Rivera‘s mechanics, and I think this has a lot to do with the cutter’s success.

However consistent his cutters were in August, he still lacked the pitches with high horizontal movement. When we looked at the pitch movement between Rivera and Robertson, it was clear that he lacked whiff-worthy break in August.… Click here to read the rest

David Robertson Looking Like Mariano Rivera

Everyone misses Mariano Rivera, except for maybe Rafael Soriano, but I swear I saw him pitching the other night. Yes, it’s almost blasphemy in Yankee land to compare anyone to the great Rivera, but David Robertson has come closer than anyone I’ve seen. The Sandman loves playing baseball, he lives for his team, and he doesn’t shy away from teaching his incredible cutter to his teammates. Go back to spring training, and David Robertson was still learning how to throw the pitch consistently.

“On a good day, every once in a while, I’ll throw one like Mariano’s,” Robertson said. “Think about it, one pitch, they know it’s coming, and still no one hits it. I’ll never be able to get by like that. Closers today have two pitches, sometimes three. Not one. No one does that.”

This was after a 2011 season where PITCHf/x had him throwing 27% cutters in his repertoire. The number of cutters has only increased, and in the month of August, Robertson is now throwing the pitch 67% of the time.… Click here to read the rest

Robertson’s Troubles More Than Just Regression

The regression hammer was bound to hit for David Robertson, who was riding high on a 0.00 ERA through his first month of 2012. I made the not-so-convincing case of trading Robertson back then, under the assumption that his numbers were very close to running out of luck, and his arm was replaceable in a stacked bullpen. It was my opinion that you should always maximize assets at a replaceable position, such as our beloved but lucky setup man. Regardless, Mariano Rivera went down with his injury, and the bullpen was no longer stacked. Then Robertson returned to earth in perhaps the most unfortunate way possible, by blowing his second save and subsequently getting injured. I’d like to say it’s a bitter-sweet I told you so, but despite what you may think, I’m a big Robertson fan, and there’s nothing sweet about one of your guys blowing games.

Sure, his numbers are now revolving around that mid-2.00 ERA I expect him to produce, but he’s looked way too hittable since returning from the disabled list.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks win a wet, see-saw game 8-5

First things first both Ivan Nova and Clay Rapada left the game with various injuries. Raul Ibanez also got plunked and exited We’ll keep you posted if anything comes down. Also, David Robertson apparently has a set of sore ribs. When it rains it pours, eh?

As for the game itself, it was pretty back-and-forth. The Orioles struck first in the opening inning, getting a run on a J.J. Hardy single before an out was recorded. Hardy was chased home two batters later by an Adam Jones double. The score stayed 2-0 Baltimore until the top of the fourth. Alex Rodriguez led the inning off with a single to center. The next batter, Robinson Cano, also singled. After a Mark Teixeira groundout, Nick Swisher hit a double of the wall in right center, scoring A-Rod and Cano and tying the game at 2.

The very next inning, the Yankees would keep their momentum rolling. Russell Martin led off with a walk, and the Yankees looked poised to break the game at that point, but Derek Jeter grounded into a double play.… Click here to read the rest