David Alan Robertson
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 180 lb.
- School University of Alabama
- HIgh School Paul W. Bryant High School
- Debut June 29, 2008
David Robertson was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 17th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scouts D.J. Svihlik and Jeff Patterson for a $200,000 bonus and made his pro debut the next summer.
Robertson made his major league debut with the New York Yankees in 2008, then emerged as one of the team's most reliable relievers in 2009, when he contributed to the team's World Series title with a 3.30 ERA in 45 games coupled with 63 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. he kept a clean sheet in five postseason appearances that year, including 2 1/3 innings against the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. His ERA rose to 3.82 in 2010, but he still pitched 64 games and again struck out over a batter per inning. In 2011, though, he emerged as perhaps the best middle reliever in baseball, making the All-Star team on the strength of a 4-0 record and sparkling 1-0 ERA in 70 games. He struck out an even 100 batters that season, in only 66 2/3 innings, and gave up only one homer all season. The Yankees had signed former Tampa Bay Rays closer Rafael Soriano to a big free agent contract the previous off-season, with a view to grooming him to eventually succeed the great Mariano Rivera in the closer role with the Bronx Bombers. However, Soriano struggled, and Robertson's tremendous performance pushed him up to the top of the depth chart as Mariano's set-up man.
In 2012, David started the season secure in his role as the number 2 man in the Yankee bullpen and pitched lights out in his first 12 outings, giving up a mere 7 hits and 3 walks in 12 innings while striking out 21 and not allowing a single run. When Rivera went down with a torn knee ligament in a freak accident on May 3rd, it was him and not Soriano who was annointed by manager Joe Girardi to take over Mo's huge shoes. In his first game in the new role, on May 8th, he preserved a 5-3 win over the Rays, striking out Carlos Pena with the bases loaded in nailing his first save opportunity. It was only the 4th save of his career, but it was clear that he had the stuff and poise to rack up many, many more. However, in his second outing in the role on May 9th, things went awry, as he blew a 1-0 9th inning lead against the Rays, loading the bases with none out and then allowing a sacrifice fly by B.J. Upton and a three-run homer by Matt Joyce to be charged with a blown save and the 4-1 loss. He then got more bad news on May 15th when he was placed on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his ribcage. By the time he returned, Rafael Soriano had claimed the closer's job and would end the year with 40 saves. He ended the year with a record of 2-7, 2.67 in 65 games. He then won Game 3 of the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles, 3-2 in 12 innings.
In 2013, Rivera was back for a last season and Robertson was in his familiar role of set-up man. Both men were excellent, with Rivera going out pitching as well as he ever had, and Robertson putting up a 2.04 ERA in 70 games with 3 saves and 77 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings. He was anointed the new Yankees' closer in 2014 and quickly picked up a couple of saves without giving up a run, but he had to go on the disabled list after his third outing. This time, however, his understudy did not steal his job and he was able to close games again when he returned later in April. His third save was recorded against the Los Angeles Angels on April 26th. He ended up with 39 saves, to go along with a 4-5 record and a 3.08 ERA, with 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings. However, in a surprising development, he opted to leave the Yankees when he became a free agent after the season, instead signing a four-year deal worth $46 million with the Chicago White Sox on December 8th.
Robertson was the closer for the White Sox for two and a half seasons, and while he picked up a lot of saves, the team was never seriously in contention for the postseason, and he was never dominant either. In 2015, he recorded 34 saves while going 6-5, 3.41 and in 2016 he was 5-3, 3.47 with 37 saves. He had very good strikeout numbers both years. In 2017, he had 13 saves along with a 4-2 record and a 2.70 ERA in 31 games with 13 saves when on July 18th, he was traded back to the Yankees in a blockbuster deal that also included 3B Todd Frazier and P Tommy Kahnle heading to New York, in return for P Tyler Clippard and prospects Ian Clarkin, Tito Polo and Blake Rutherford. Robertson was not going to get the closer's job back, though, as Aroldis Chapman was firmly in place; instead, he would be one of two set-up men for the fireballing Cuban, along with Dellin Betances. He did extremely well with the Yankees, going 5-0, 1.03 with 1 save in 30 outings to finish the year at 9-2, 1.84. With Betances struggling with his control down the stretch, he was one of Joe Girardi's go-to pitchers when things got tight, and that is exactly what happened in the Wild Card Game against the Minnesota Twins on October 3rd. Starter Luis Severino was chased in the 1st inning; Chad Green managed to save the Yankees' skin by getting out of a jam in the 1st, but by the 3rd inning was out of gas, forcing Girardi to call on David in a very unfamiliar situation: with one out, the bases loaded and the score 4-3 for the Yankees. Robertson managed to end the innnig with minimal damage thanks to a run-scoring ground out and a strikeout, and the Yankees took the lead they would never relinquish in the bottom of the inning. He ended up pitching 3 1/3 innings, giving up no runs and striking out 5 in one of the best performances of his career as New York won the game, 8-4.
Robertson is the brother of Connor Robertson.
- AL All-Star (2011)
- 30 Saves Seasons: 3 (2014-2016)
- Won a World Series with the New York Yankees in 2009