Name: David Alan Robertson
Date of Birth: April 9, 1985
Contract Status: 2011 will be Robertson's last season before arbitration eligibility.
2010 stats: 64 games, 3.82 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 10.4 K/9, 4.8 BB/9, .7 WAR
2010 in review: David Robertson was a case study for those of us who preach patience with relievers. He was awful during the first two months, even giving up a .600 BABIP in limited April innings, but by seasons' end he had brought his ERA down under 4.00. Although he's failed to earn a designated inning in Joe Girardi's bullpen-by-numbers strategy, he's probably been the most consistent reliever (non-Rivera department) over the past two seasons.
The Good: Robertson will strike opposing hitters out at a well above average rate; his 2010 strikeout rate ranked 24th in the majors among pitchers who threw at least 40 innings. He's also the type of pitcher who limits contact - opposing hitters have put the ball in play only about 57% of the time during his career, which is well below the MLB average of about 70% - which is a good trait for a middle reliever to have, especially one who plays in front of a defense that can be porous at times.
The Bad: With the strikeouts come walks. Lots of walks. Robertson ranked 25th in the majors in most walks allowed, and even though a fair number of his free passes came as the intentional variety, his unintentional rate is still over 4 per 9 innings. He's also a pretty extreme fly-ball pitcher, so he's playing in the wrong home ballpark in that department.
2011 outlook: Robertson should continue to be an effective reliever for the Yankees in 2011, and may benefit by having bigger name relievers in front of him, at least from the fan expectation standpoint. We'll have to live with the walks, but another solid campaign from him could the Yankees a devastating 3 inning bullpen trio.