Thursday, April 02, 2009

Nate the Grate

Nate Robertson is unhappy being moved to the bullpen. He did not demand a trade, but said his time in Detroit might be nearing an end. Given that he's owed $17 million through 2010, it's unlikely anyone will take Robertson off the Tigers' hands.

While I appreciate what Robertson has done for the Tigs in the past, and admire that he still wants the ball, sometimes you wonder what guys like this are thinking. Robertson posted a 5.52 ERA and allowed 25 baserunners in 14.2 IP this spring. He was 7-11 with a 6.35 ERA last year. Only once in his career (2006) has his ERA+ been better than average. His hits allowed and walks have increased since 2006 and his strikeouts have dropped slightly.

In fairness to Robertson, Zach Miner, who got the final starting spot, fared no better overall this spring. But Miner was 8-5 with a 4.27 ERA last season, including 5-2/4.30 as a starter.

Maybe Robertson can work his way back into the rotation. But at this point, he needs to earn it, which is something he doesn't seem to understand. If Robertson simply accepted the demotion and recognized he was largely to blame, this would sit better with me.

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