The Rays are planning to recall veteran reliever David Robertson to the big league roster before tomorrow evening’s game against the Red Sox, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Active rosters expand from 26 to 28 players tomorrow, so no corresponding move is necessary.
It’ll be Robertson’s first big league action since April 2019. The veteran righty suffered a UCL tear that spring, eventually requiring a Tommy John surgery that wiped out both the rest of that season and his entire 2020 campaign. Robertson tossed a couple showcases over the offseason but ultimately didn’t sign over the winter.
Instead, Robertson was among the handful of longtime big leaguers to join the U.S. National team for this year’s Summer Olympics. He showed well enough there to land a major league contract with Tampa Bay, although he agreed to a temporary assignment to Triple-A Durham to build up arm strength. Robertson has been stellar with the Bulls, tossing six scoreless innings with twelve strikeouts and a lone walk issued.
While it has been almost three years since Robertson was healthy, he was one of the league’s most durable and productive relievers for much of his tenures with the Yankees and White Sox. The 36-year-old owns a 2.90 ERA over 663 2/3 big league innings, and he tossed 60+ innings with a sub-4.00 ERA in every season from 2010-18.
Anything resembling that level of production would be key for a Rays’ bullpen that has dealt with myriad health issues this season. While Robertson will step in as an option for manager Kevin Cash, it seems Tampa Bay can’t count on immediate contributions from either Ryan Thompson or Oliver Drake.
Thompson, who has been out since June 30 with shoulder inflammation, continues to feel soreness and isn’t expected to begin throwing any time soon, manager Kevin Cash told Topkin. Drake, meanwhile, isn’t expected to pitch this season, according to Cash. Drake has been plagued by a flexor strain since last October; he was expected to begin a rehab assignment in July but apparently suffered some form of setback. Both players are already on the 60-day injured list.
No one knows if Robertson can actually pitch, but he’ll show the Rays how to split up those playoff shares.
In “fairness,” perhaps the Rays won’t vote him any shares!
Ugh, I remember him pitching for the White Sox. Just awful. Worst closer in recent memory since Bob Howry for the Sox. Or Ronald Bellasario…
Why did I do this to myself…
I must say…..he was outstanding in Philly too. A real bargain.
Christ I wish he was in any way healthy through that deal. But alas….
Since you mentioned Jesus Christ, please ensure you say a prayer for David Robertson.
ERA+ of 115 117 and 161 with tons of strikeouts and few homers in his time with the white Sox.. what exactly did you not like?
He was pretty decent for the Sox…
Even worse trade with the Yankees. No viable return.
at the time, yankee fans were sad to see rutherford and clarkin go
when prospects don’t pan out, and most of them don’t, trades look awful in retrospect
Gave up on Tito Polo too soon. He’s raking in the Mexican League.
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Yankees do excellent job of making there prospects out to be the next big thing. Then when they get traded you never hear about them again.
@Lee Mazzilli, How do they accomplish that? Do they lobby (i.e. $’s) Baseball America, Fangraphs, MLB.com, etc to gratuitously over-rank? Or maybe they convince every other front office to disregard any scouting report that’s not yankee-centric?
They didn’t have to do anything but be located in the largest media market in the world. They get more coverage than any other team. Coverage of prospects is always thru rose colored glasses.
But it’s the fans that consume that media. It’s unlikely that other franchises are relying on market driven media to form there opinions on industry talent. And I’d be surprised if Baseball America utilized Yankee blogs and the New York Post to develop their rankings.
Why are the Rays fans misled that their players don’t come back from their injuries as documented! There must be 10 of them already and most were expected back in early July! No medical team is that ignorant! Since other teams are doing this, It has to be investigated and stopped.. Glad a new CBA agreement is this year to possibly correct this and we can see our players play ball.
Well, those are certainly words.
I read that twice and still do not know what I am “misled” about. Assuming you can lead me in the right direction?
Love this guy. Houdini in high socks. He also has a high socks foundation for kids rays fans!! I know he was a Yankee but he’s a great dude
I wish the man well. He’s had a frustrating last couple years with injuries.
Could be an impact addition to the Rays pen if he’s healthy, which he appears to be. He’ll help the Rays if he’s 90% of what he was his last year with the Yankees.
Your dead to me Houdini. Don’t ever come back for any Old Timers Day games.
A bit surprised the Yankees didn’t take a shot at him. They know him better than any organization.
Probably a numbers game as much as anything with the Yankees. Their pen is packed, and they have guys like Ridings and Gil to call up, but limited spots.
It must suck to constantly fail year in and year out with one of the largest payrolls and marquee players in the game.
They’ll make the playoffs. I thought that was the object.
Who cares about the money they spend. As long as it isn’t mine.
The guy is horrible. Must have a great agent. Himself
If he still has that 12/6 curveball, he’ll help. The Rays aren’t expected him to be their closer, just another different look from the pen.
You’re likely correct on him not being the closer, but with the Rays, I wouldn’t bet against any one person not being the closer!
As a baseball fan, I always like to see players make comebacks post surgery and after many thought they were finished. The Phils unfortunately picked up Robertson just as years of use caused his elbow to give out. Be curious to see what he has left. He’s only 5’10”, but at one point it was reported he had the longest stride when delivering to the plate, which caused his fastball to play up.