The Philadelphia Phillies signed veteran pitcher David Robertson. What are they getting in the Rhode Island native?
For years, David Robertson has been a very consistent pitcher, spending most of his time with the New York Yankees, and then a few seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The righty acted as his own agent in free agency, and he did pretty well for himself. Philadelphia signed Robertson to a two-year deal for a combined $23 million, with a club option for 2021 that’s worth $12 million.
This is a good signing for the Phillies, which gets them an anchor of the bullpen for the next couple of years. They were rumored to be the top suitor for Kimbrel, but they must have walked away because of the high price. Robertson is one of the next best things and is obviously cheaper. In 2018, the Phillies ranked 18th in the league with a 4.14 ERA. That had to do with the youth in the starting rotation as well as the pen. Now, they have inked a veteran reliever that has experience in the postseason and adds another established arm to Pat Neshek.
Fielding Independent Pitching is a stat that takes out consideration of a pitcher’s defense. Robertson had a 2.97 FIP, which is beyond excellent. His FIP is lower than guys like Craig Kimbrel, Adam Ottavino, and Felipe Vazquez. By WAR (1.5), he was the 18th-best reliever in all of baseball in 2018.
Last year, Robertson pitched himself to a value of $12.3 million in 2018. That is just about the same dollar amount he will make over each of the next two seasons. So the Phillies didn’t underpay or overpay for his services. In K/9 (11.76), the righty ranks 11th amongst relievers in the majors — higher than players such as Blake Treinen, Jose Alvarado, and Craig Stammen.
Robertson has mainly three-pitch mix that he utilizes effectively to keep hitters off balance — his fastball (42.5 percent his pitches in 2018), slider (14.4 percent), curveball (42.9 percent), and rarely throws his changeup (0.3 percent). Robertson is someone who relies on the location of his fastball and the downward spin of his breaking ball. The hook always hits its spot and is a deceptive pitch that looks like a fastball coming in, then dives under the strike zone.
Robertson will fit in well in the Phillies bullpen. Although he is almost 34, he will consistently provide quality innings and hold a game. Hopefully, his skills can rub off on the youngsters in the pen. This is a quality signing for Philadelphia, and there should be more to come.