As it stands, Jim Leyland’s decision to drop Nate Robertson from the Tigers’ rotation and send him to the bullpen is a strategic move to help the club now, but its impossible to look at the situation without an eye on 2009.
Robertson acknowledged to reporters that his offseason plans will have to accommodate some kind of adjustment to his mechanics, pitching repertoire, or workout regimen. The slider is his signature pitch, but it hasn’t been as effective this year, causing his ERA to hover around 6.04, the highest its been since his rookie season with Florida.
The Tigers also have to consider the financial repercussions of having a multi-million dollar reliever if he’s unable to rebound to form and reclaim his spot on the rotation. Robertson is scheduled to make $7MM (before incentives) in 2009, the second year of his 3-year contract with the Tigs, $10MM in 2010.
Its possible the club decides to trade Robertson in the offseason as a salary dump.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Comments? Rumors? Email me: alexo (at) umpbump (dot) com.