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Cubs: Robertson Shines Through Cubs’ Struggles

The veteran reliever is securing his spot as Cubs’ closer.

Photo: Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs have hit a major bump in the road since their 21-0 route of the Pittsburgh Pirates two weeks ago. Entering their matchup on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 9-17 record, many Cubs fans would agree that the season has been disappointing so far. One player, however, that hasn’t been disappointing so far is veteran reliever David Robertson.

Robertson’s Return Story

Coming off Tommy John surgery, which kept him out of baseball for nearly two years, Robertson signed a one-year deal with the Cubs during offseason. He was expected to be a veteran mind to help mold the younger pitchers in the organization, as well as eat up innings in what looks to be a very busy summer for Cubs pitchers. But, after dominating hitters throughout his time so far with the Cubs, the right-hander has grabbed the closer’s spot with ease and hasn’t looked back.

The Numbers

In 11 games with the Cubs so far, Robertson has thrown to the tune of a 1.50 ERA while striking out 17 hitters in 12 innings and posting a 12.8 SO/9. According to Baseball Savant, he ranks in the 98th percentile in expected batting average (.157), which probably can be thanks to the trio of his cutter, slider, and curveball mixture. So far this year, opponents are hitting .111 against his cutter, .083 against his curveball, and .000 against his slider (you read that right). With numbers like this, at the very least you can expect to see Robertson pitching later this year in the All-Star game in Los Angeles.

With all this production, however, there’s where the question lies. If the Cubs continue to struggle in what many consider to be a rebuild year, could fans expect to see Robertson traded before the deadline? Just like the guys over at the Cubs On Tap podcast discussed in their latest episode, could Robertson be pitching himself into a position where it’d be silly for the Cubs NOT to trade him?

At this rate so far, Robertson has built his value up high enough to receive a decent package in return if he was traded. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the potential All-Star, but for now, let’s just enjoy it while it lasts.  

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