Phillies news: Veteran RHP David Robertson suffers setback

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

Phillies right-handed reliever David Robertson has suffered a setback

Twelve-year veteran reliever David Robertson‘s stint in the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen appears more and more likely to be limited to just seven appearances spanning a two-year, $23 million contract.

On Friday, manager Joe Girardi announced that the 2009 World Series champion suffered a setback in his rehabilitation back from Tommy John surgery, experiencing elbow discomfort, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen. As a result, Robertson has been shut down and is scheduled to meet with the Phillies for an evaluation in the coming days. An update should follow soon thereafter.

Update, August 29: The Phillies announced that Robertson will not throw for another six weeks, hence ending his season.

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Last season, Robertson posted a 5.40 ERA across his seven games, three of which finished a contest. In those 6 2/3 innings, he allowed eight hits, four runs (all earned), one home run, and six walks while striking out six of his 33 batters faced.

Back in the 2009 World Series under then-New York Yankees manager Girardi, Robertson helped to deny the Phillies their third World Series championship in franchise history, allowing no runs across two appearances and 2 1/3 innings.

Robertson had been at the Phillies’ alternate training site in Lehigh Valley, continuing his rehabilitation; he was aiming for a September return and had been cleared to face live hitters, but now, that appears to be in doubt.

Back in late June, Robertson told WFAN that his rehabilitation had been going well for him so far, with his fastball velocity returning. At the time, he said he felt he was a “couple of months ahead of schedule” and that he was just trying to do everything he can to get back on the mound.

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“My arm feels pretty much brand new, I just got to get that feeling for all my breaking stuff and where I can make that jump and be ready for some live action,” Robertson added. “I’m itching to play. I haven’t had to sit this long and not play in a game ever in my life, so I’m kind of going nuts a little bit. I’m ready to get back out there and let it rip a few times.”

The Phillies have a $12 million team option on Robertson if they choose to bring the 35-year-old back for the 2021 season. Or, they could buy him out for $2 million.