Friday, July 30, 2010

The Return Of D-Rob

Well it took long enough, but David Robertson certainly appears to have righted the ship after an awful start to the season and has solidified himself as the leading candidate to take over the 8th-inning role now that Joe has relieved Joba of those duties.  Since his blowup against Toronto early this month, Robertson has been lights out in his last 9 outings.  Observe:

9.1 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 0 R, 13 K, 12.54 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, .857 WHIP

And if you're like me and still appreciate the simpler, outdated stats, Robertson has lowered his ERA from 6.15 to 4.54 over that stretch.  The most important stat out of the line above would have to be the 2.89 BB/9.  Robertson's strikeout numbers have been on par with his career numbers this year, but it's been the home runs and walks that have really hurt him.  To have a lower BB/9 number than we're used to seeing from him suggests that he has finally rediscovered the command on his devastating fastball/curveball combo, and that has allowed him to attack hitters and get ahead in the count to set up the hook as his K pitch like last year.  His confidence seems to grow each time out, which is a good thing heading towards the homestretch of the regular season in a bullpen that has been shaky at best all year.

So now the question becomes, with Robertson firing on all cylinders, J-Alba and Mitre providing a change of pace in the bullpen rotation, Mo being Mo, and Ace possibly coming back before the end of the year, what do the Yankees do at the trading deadline regarding the bullpen?  Do they tell Toronto to get fucked with their 'Jesus Montero for Scott Downs' proposal?  Do they say the same thing to KC about Joakim Soria?

The Adam Dunn talks have stalled and there are no decent starters left out on the market, so the bench and bullpen still look like the areas most likely to see a change.  But one thing's for sure; the re-emergence of Robertson as a viable bullpen option certainly lessens the urgency with which the Yanks should be looking to fill the other holes out there.

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