Phillies: David Robertson feels good, eyes midseason return

David Robertson #30 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
David Robertson #30 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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A ‘frustrating’ 2019 season

David Robertson #30 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Robertson is in the final year of his two-year, $23 million pact with the Phillies. He made just seven appearances last year, but never really felt the dominant player he was in Yankees pinstripes, where in parts of nine seasons he went 38-22 with a 2.75 ERA, 666-204 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and 1.157 WHIP spanning 501 appearances, 144 games finished, 53 saves and 498 innings.

“I started out [2019] throwing the ball terrible; I couldn’t figure it out,” said Robertson, who posted a 5.40 ERA before being sidelined for the remainder of the season. “I didn’t think I was having as bad of an issue as I was, and then finally I just had a game in Miami where I threw well, but I kind of paid the price.”

Robertson said he pushed himself through some pains that he shouldn’t have: “Next thing you know, I’m staring down six weeks of sitting out this season. And then just taking a full break off and trying to rehab after that, only to find out that my elbow was just never going to heal. I was surgery-bound”

The 2011 American League All-Star said it was “very frustrating” to not be able to do anything to help the Phillies team that he was “dying” to be a part of.

“I felt like going to Philly, with all the moves that were made to put together such a good squad … I was one of them,” Robertson said. “Adding Bryce [and] J.T., I was dying to be a part of that team and be that anchor in the back of the bullpen.”

Reuniting with old friends

Robertson said that while 2019 was a very tough year for him, he hopes to rebound in 2020. Several members of this year’s Phillies team excite him. Among the top of that list is his former skipper. Robertson said he “could not have been more happy” when the Phillies hired Girardi this past offseason: “It’s really good to have Joe G in a Phillies uniform. Having him and Rob Thomson together again, I am very happy about that.”

Then, there is Didi Gregorius, one of his Yankees teammates from the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Robertson praised the shortstop for being an easy, good and friendly guy: “I love playing with Didi. … He gets along with everyone. He plays hard. He can swing the bat.”

“I got nothing bad to say about him. He’s a great teammate, and I’m glad he’s with us.”