Prior to the 2019 season, the Phillies signed reliever David Robertson to a two-year contract. He immediately became the roster’s best-looking player, but unfortunately his on-field performance wasn’t much to look at. He pitched ineffectually in seven games before a ligament tear required him to undergo Tommy John surgery, forcing him to serve out the remainder of his deal on the Injured List.
After returning to the majors in 2021, Robertson signed with the Cubs as a free agent prior to the 2022 season. Serving as their closer, he pitched well; so well, that when the Phillies sought midseason relief help, they identified Robertson as an option. Robertson seemed pleased to have a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of Phillies fans.
At first, the move looked like a success, as Robertson helped team with Seranthony Dominguez to shore up the late innings. Unfortunately, Dominguez then had to go on the Injured List, and manager Rob Thomson was forced to place a heavy burden on Robertson. Too heavy a burden, it would seem, as Robertson’s effectiveness diminished as the season progressed.
In the playoffs, he was generally used in lower-leverage spots, and generally pitched well enough. (Except of course for the NLDS which he had to missed because he hurt himself celebrating a home run in the Wild Card series.)
The stats (with Phillies): 22 games, 23.1 IP, 1-3 W-L, 6 saves, 2.70 ERA, 11.6 K/9, 6.2 BB/9, 0.7 WAR
Without Robertson, the Phillies might not have been able to withstand the late-season loss of Dominguez. And as always, Robertson’s good looks were a welcome sight on our television screens.
Robertson’s inability to hold up under the heavy workload nearly cost the Phillies a chance at the playoffs. He had a few very poor appearances which led to some seemingly killer losses down the stretch.
Robertson signed with the division rival Mets where he will not be teammates with Carlos Correa. With the additions of Craig Kimbrel, Gregory Soto, and especially Trea Turner, the Phillies seem to have adequately replaced him.
Unlike his first, disastrous stint with the Phillies, Robertson was generally effective, even if he lagged a bit at the end.