Coming into the 2011 season Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman already knew the top 3 guys for the 7th, 8th & 9th inning: Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano & of course Mariano Rivera. Something had changed throughout the year and even though it looked bad, things had gotten better because of one man. Joba Chamberlain had Tommy John Surgery so he wasn’t going to be back for the rest of the year and Rafael Soriano had elbow issues which placed him on the DL. Girardi had to turn to someone in the bullpen and the man he chose was David Robertson.
Robertson in the beginning of the season was only used in the early innings when
New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson
pitchers got into trouble, but now he had to take over the roles that both Soriano and Chamberlain were given and put his talents to the test. Of course, D-Rob did not disappoint. In 2011, Robertson had a 1.08 ERA giving up only 9 runs (8 were earned). In 66.2 innings he was 4-0, allowed 40 hits, 1 HR, 35 BB, 100K and held hitters to a .170 AVG. Robertson was one of the best relievers in the league and did more; he made the trip all the way to Arizona for the 2011 All-Star Game. I remember that game as if it was yesterday. Of course the AL lost but Robertson’s second inning was kind of un-Robertson like. He gave off a lead-off single to former teammate Lance Berkman, got a LONG fly-ball out and then had the “strike em out, throw em out” DP. The only reason I say that it was un-Robertson like was cause I wanted to see more than one strikeout. Was I being a bit too greedy there?
l. to r.: Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin & David Robertson at the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby
Anyway, Robertson took the role of 8th inning man for Soriano while he was on the DL and let’s just say when Soriano came back there was no 8th inning role for him. What was originally “Chamberlain, Soriano, Rivera” was now “Soriano, Robertson, Rivera”.
David Robertson is not only impressive on the field, but he is fantastic off the field as well. In April the horrible tornado in Alabama hit and Robertson along with his wife Erin started the “High Socks for Hope” fund, where every strikeout David gets gives $100 to the fund. By the end of the year, Robertson earned up to $10,000 after getting 100K’s. Not a bad way to end your year with 100K’s now is it?
What I look forward to in 2012 is more David Robertson, and we are all hoping that the Robertson that showed up in 2011 will show up again in 2012. If there was an award for most effective pitcher on the Yankees, my vote would go straight to this guy right here; #30, David Robertson.