David Robertson

David Robertson

37-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2023 Fantasy Outlook
After pitching just 18.2 major league innings between 2019-2021, Robertson signed a 1-year pact with the Cubs prior to last season. The veteran was the most experienced option in a shallow pen and quickly re-established himself in high leverage, serving as Chicago's closer for the first four months of 2022. After an excellent first half, Robertson was shipped to Philadelphia, who deployed him within a committee as the second option for saves. He wasn't as sharp with his new team and lost his command to finish with one of the worst walk rates among qualified relievers at 13.3%. On the plus side, Robertson put up 63.2 innings - his most since 2018 - and 20 saves. The free-agent will be 38 this season, but still appears to have something left in the tank. Just don't expect a team to sign him as their primary closer at this stage of his career. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Cubs in March of 2022. Traded to the Phillies in August of 2022.
Earns shaky save in Game 1
PPhiladelphia Phillies  
October 28, 2022
Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth inning and earned the save Friday night during Game 1 of the World Series, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out two in the 6-5 win over the Astros.
ANALYSIS
Robertson received his first save opportunity of the postseason, and he nearly allowed the Astros to steal the win. After striking out leadoff man Yordan Alvarez, Robertson found himself with the tying run at third and the winning run at second. After three straight balls to Aledmys Diaz, the 37-year-old was able to work back and force a groundout to secure the 1-0 series lead. This was Robertson's 21st save of the season in his 29th opportunity. Despite some shakinesses in the postseason, Robertson has allowed just one run in 4.2 innings and remains a solid option out of the Philadelphia bullpen.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
18
Last 10 Games
18
Last 5 Games
18
How many pitches does David Robertson generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does David Robertson generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-4%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-6%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-8%
BAA vs RHP
2020
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .180 154 51 19 24 8 0 1
Since 2020vs Right .188 160 46 20 26 4 0 7
2022vs Left .168 133 44 18 19 7 0 1
2022vs Right .179 131 37 17 20 3 0 5
2021vs Left .250 21 7 1 5 1 0 0
2021vs Right .231 29 9 3 6 1 0 2
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-18%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-22%
ERA at Home
2021
Even Split
2020
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 2.48 1.25 40.0 1 2 10 11.9 5.6 0.9
Since 2020Away 3.03 1.09 35.2 3 1 10 11.1 3.5 1.0
2022Home 2.12 1.24 34.0 1 2 10 11.9 5.8 0.8
2022Away 2.73 1.08 29.2 3 1 10 10.9 3.9 0.9
2021Home 4.50 1.33 6.0 0 0 0 12.0 4.5 1.5
2021Away 4.50 1.17 6.0 0 0 0 12.0 1.5 1.5
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does David Robertson compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.31
 
K/9
11.5
 
BB/9
4.9
 
HR/9
0.8
 
Fastball
93.0 mph
 
ERA
2.40
 
WHIP
1.16
 
BABIP
.251
 
GB/FB
1.40
 
Left On Base
85.4%
 
Exit Velocity
80.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
4.5%
 
Spin Rate
2625 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
21.9%
 
Swinging Strike
13.7%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
Robertson made just seven MLB appearances from 2019-2020, missing almost the entirety of his two years in the Phillies' organization due to Tommy John surgery. After impressing during his stint with the United States team in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo last year, he joined the Rays for the final month of the 2021 campaign. The right-hander made 12 appearances for the Rays and recorded a 4.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 12 innings. The Cubs don't have a particularly deep bullpen heading into 2022, so it's possible that Robertson could factor in the mix to close games given his major league experience (137 career saves).
The Phillies signed Robertson, hoping to assemble a deep and dominant bullpen. He didn't pitch much in the spring and it showed as the righty struggled in his first seven outings, throwing 6.2 innings and allowing four runs with six whiffs and six walks. As it turned out, those would be Robertson's only appearances as he was put on the IL with what was first deemed right elbow soreness, then became a Grade 1 flexor strain. After rest and rehab didn't work, it was determined Robertson needed Tommy John surgery. The procedure didn't occur until August, putting 2020 in doubt. The best-case scenario is a September return, so cross Robertson off your cheat sheet.
The Strandman had a solid year despite the 22-percentage-point drop in his left-on-base rate in 2018. Robertson has an uncanny track record of pitching between 60 and 70 innings each season, mostly in single-inning stints, allowing a few baserunners only to leave them stranded by striking guys out in the clutch. Robertson has a 32.4% strikeout rate for his career, and that rate has not been below 28% since the 2010 season. He has a proven record as a solid closer, and it appears that he will have a chance to return to the ninth inning after signing a two-year deal with the Phillies in the offseason. If he does secure the job, it would easily triple his fantasy value as the saves would once again accompany the solid ratios and strong strikeout rate. He would still be rosterable in mixed-league formats even without a full-time closer role.
In his prime years the first time around in New York, Robertson earned the nickname "Houdini" for his freakish ability to get out of jams. That skill did not follow him to Chicago in free agency, but it was apparently just waiting for him to return to The Bronx. Robertson stranded 95.0 percent of baserunners after coming back home while displaying skills worthy of the closer role (13.1 K/9, 3.1 BB/9). The problem for him is that the club has spent a lot of money on Aroldis Chapman, and Robertson likely needs an injury or suspension to Chapman to take the job. In his current role, he can be a very functional piece in AL-only leagues with his strikeout rate and his exposure to high leverage that allows him the opportunity for vulturing wins. In mixed leagues, he is relegated to a speculative reserve pick that is better served on a starter or a hitter with upside and a clearer path to playing time.
Robertson earned the nickname "Houdini" early in his career for his ability to create bad situations, then escape them by stranding runners. After all, we're talking about a reliever who has stranded 79.1 percent of baserunners throughout 519 career innings. In 2016, he stranded 79.9 percent of baserunners but still posted a 3.47 ERA by falling back into the bad habit of giving up free passes, walking 32 batters last season after walking 36 over the previous two seasons combined. Couple that with a drop in his strikeout rate with a 31-point jump in his opponents' batting average, and you get the high reliever ERA. He had offseason knee surgery to clean up a meniscus tear that may have contributed to his struggles, and is expected to be ready for spring training. Unless the injury lingers or the rebuilding White Sox trade him, pencil him in for another 30 saves while, in some cases, handcuffing him with Nate Jones just in case.
The White Sox signed Robertson to serve as their shutdown closer en route to a playoff run. The playoff run did not materialize, but Robertson remained one of the league’s best closers. He dropped his walk rate to 5.2 percent of batters faced while he continued to strike out more than a third of those he saw. His 3.41 ERA was inflated by a few late-season appearances that did not matter much one way or the other. His curve remains his best pitch, generating a lot of swing-and-miss, but his fastball and cutter are also above average. There should be some caution of skill deterioration and/or health flare-ups as he enters his age-31 season, but he enters the year with an unquestioned hold on the White Sox’s closer role.
Replacing Mariano Rivera was supposed to be an impossible task and Robertson wasn't exactly a carbon copy of his predecessor, but he took the baton smoothly and had it not been for two disastrous outings, he would've put up a more Rivera-like season. He allowed eight runs (36% of his season total) in the two outings, totaling just an inning, which sent his ERA from 1.99 to the 3.08 mark we saw at season's end. He recaptured the super-elite strikeout rate from 2011 after two years of decline with another 37 percent rate. In the era of every other reliever popping triple digits on the gun, Robertson survives with a 91-93 mph cutter and a low-80s curveball. He only needed one season to establish himself as one of the best closers in baseball and with his ability to pump 95-100 strikeouts in a season, he should remain one of the top closers after signing a four-year, $40 contract with the White Sox.
While the Yankees have been cautious about anointing Robertson the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera, Robertson's performance over the past several seasons certainly justify giving him the job. All of Robertson's peripheral statistics back up his more obvious high strikeout rate and low ERA; his BABIP against in 2013 was .293, and his 6.8% HR/FB was fairly consistent with his career norm. If the fact that the Yankees haven't guaranteed Robertson the closer job knocks a few dollars of his draft day value, jump in and enjoy the numbers of this potential top-10 closer provided that clear-cut veteran option is not obtained before spring training.
Robertson appeared to be next in line to close when Mariano Rivera went down, but some relative struggles and a minor injury opened the door for Rafael Soriano, returning Robertson to his eighth-inning role. While he wasn't quite as dominant as he'd been in 2011, Robertson was still very good with a 12.0 K/9, and dramatically lowering his walk rate from 4.7 to 2.8 BB/9. Robertson has fantasy value even in his setup role, and he appears to be the fallback option behind Rivera as the closer-in-waiting.
Robertson was one of the most valuable setup men in the game in 2011, cementing himself as the next in line should Mariano Rivera ever falter or retire. Robertson's numbers speak for themselves: he struck out an incredible 100 batters in 66.2 innings and his ERA was a sparkling 1.08. He can get himself into trouble with walks occasionally, averaging 4.73 BB/9IP, but Robertson's fantastic power stuff can often get him out of tough spots. Even if he doesn't close many games, Robertson can serve as a valuable staff filler because of the strikeouts (he struck out more hitters than starter Ivan Nova), and he's a particularly great pick if you want to insure an investment in Rivera.
Robertson made his mark as a strikeout machine in 2009 and lived up to those expectations again in 2010, fanning 71 batters in 61.1 innings. Despite a few rough patches, he was one of manager Joe Girardi's favorite bullpen arms and will again be one of the Yankees' most-used relievers in 2011. Command is the biggest area of concern here; Robertson's walk rate has increased every year he's been in the majors.
Robertson solidified his reputation as a young strikeout machine in 2009, fanning 63 in 43.2 innings, resulting in a 12.98 K/9IP ratio that ranked first among AL relievers who pitched more than 40 innings. If Phil Hughes moves into the rotation this season, Robertson should slide into a more vital bullpen role, possibly sharing setup duties with lefty Damaso Marte. After improving in nearly all facets from 2008 to 2009 (ERA, H/9IP, HR/9IP, K:BB), he certainly appears capable of handling such a promotion.
Robertson continued his ascent through the minors in 2008 and eventually had two stints with the Yankees starting in late June. Big league hitters were able to make more contact against him than those at his minor league stops, but Robertson still posted a 10.68 K/9IP rate in 30.1 innings for the Yankees. Featuring a low-90s cutter, curveball and a slider, Robertson appears to have a very bright future in the Yankees bullpen. Despite being undersized at 5-foot-11, Robertson has a closer's stuff, even if he'll be confined to middle relief and eventually a set-up role in New York. There will be plenty of competition for spots during spring training, so he'll head back to Triple-A and be one of the first relievers brought up if he's unable to earn a roster spot during spring training.
More Fantasy News
Struggles in Game 2
PPhiladelphia Phillies  
October 19, 2022
Robertson (calf) recorded two outs during Wednesday's 8-5 loss to the Padres in Game 2 of the NLCS, allowing one run on three hits and zero walks.
ANALYSIS
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Good to go
PPhiladelphia Phillies  
October 18, 2022
Robertson (calf) has made the Phillies' NLCS roster.
ANALYSIS
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Making progress
PPhiladelphia Phillies  
Calf
October 15, 2022
Robertson (calf) has been throwing and could return for the NLCS, should the Phillies advance, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Misses NLDS with calf injury
PPhiladelphia Phillies  
Calf
October 11, 2022
Robertson was left off the Phillies' roster for the National League Division Series matchup with Atlanta due to a strained right calf, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports.
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Earns 20th save
PPhiladelphia Phillies  
September 13, 2022
Robertson picked up the save Tuesday in Miami, retiring the side in order in the ninth inning of a 2-1 win.
ANALYSIS
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