Amidst all the excitement of the trade deadline and the acquisition of outfielder Corey Dickerson, the Phillies made the announcement many have suspected was coming but long feared.
David Robertson is done for season and headed to elbow surgery.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) July 31, 2019
Prior to the All Star Game, Robertson seemed optimistic that he would be able to return to the Phils’ bullpen by the end of July. Had that happened, it would have acted as the team’s big splash at the trade deadline. But over the past few days, the team grew more and more discouraged that he would be able to make it back.
Now, in speaking to reporters, Robertson said he’s not sure if his injury will force him to undergo Tommy John surgery. If it does need TJ surgery, he would be lost for all of 2020, too.
Robertson signed a two-year, $23 million deal with the Phillies this off-season. He made seven appearances and in 6.2 innings had a 5.40 ERA, suffered a gruesome loss to the Washington Nationals in April, struck out six and walked six.
2019 saves: Stevie Wilkerson 1, David Robertson 0. Ugh.— Eric Karabell (@karabelleric) July 31, 2019
The Phillies received a combined 30 innings from Robertson, Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter this year, to whom they are paying a combined $26.75 million.
That’s about $891,000 per inning pitched.
The bitter irony is that Robertson was targeted last winter specifically because of his durability and consistency. He had made at least 60 appearances every season since 2010, and had never posted an ERA higher than 3.82.
And now, with the 2020 season in question, it’s very possible the Phils will have paid Robertson $23 million for seven appearances and no saves over the entirety of his deal, a devastating blow for a team looking for answers in the latter innings.