Jun 1, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. The Twins defeated the Yankees 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
One of the better offseason moves for the Chicago White Sox was the acquisition of closer David Robertson. The signing by the White Sox finally gives manager Robin Ventura a safety net of sorts in the ninth inning, but what exactly will Robertson bring to the White Sox in ’15?
First off, he can bring a player and veteran presence that knows what it is like to play for a winning organization, coming from the New York Yankees, where winning is the most important thing in the eyes of their franchise.
Robertson also brings pitching expertise in the late innings, with 39 saves for the Yankees last season in 63 games (64.1 innings).
What also stands out from last season is his 13.43 K/9 numbers. He finished with 96 strikeouts in ’14, his second-highest single-season total since he joined the majors in 2008.
But with that said, what is Robertson projected to do with the White Sox this season, his first in the AL Central? One plus for Robertson is he’ll have a nice lineup to help gain the run support pitchers need to succeed in the majors, but the bullpen in front of him is improved from last season as well.
In the Steamer projections on FanGraphs.com, Robertson’s numbers are projected to be down from last season. The Steamer projections have Robertson pitching 65 innings in 65 games with a 2.83 ERA and just 28 saves.
Some other projections for Robertson include: 79 strikeouts, 1.0 WAR (he had a 1.7 WAR in ’14), 10.99 K/9 and 2.86 BB/9 (3.22 in ’14).
What also jumps out is the 7.8 recent walk percentage projection, as last season it was 8.9 percent. Steamer is also saying Robertson will hold batters to a .213 average, which is very respectable, though last season he was at .191. In ’13, the closer held his opponents to a .211 average.
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I know these projections are usually on the lower side, but I see Robertson having around the same number of saves he had with the Yankees last season, which we previously mentioned was 39.
Any way you look at it, the projections are saying Robertson will have a very respectable season in his first year of a four-year contract with the White Sox, and that is something we can be excited for.
Also with these projections, maybe the White Sox will have such large leads in ’15 he won’t need to make as many save opportunities (let’s all cross our fingers on that one), but like I also said earlier, what Robertson brings is more important than his strikeout numbers.
Robertson brings a peace of mind to the coaches, players and fans of the White Sox, because finally the team has a closer the team can rely on, unlike last season.