Expectations were high for D-Rob after a very impressive 2009 campaign, but thus far he and his 10.91 ERA leave a bit to be desired.

His strikeout and walk rates (12.54 K/9 and 4.82 BB/9) are similar to last year’s (12.98 K/9 and 4.74 BB/9), but it is the well-documented problem with the long ball which has hurt him thus far (2.89 HR/9 vs. last year’s 0.82 HR/9). With his penchant for putting runners on base via the free pass, Robertson cannot afford to surrender a lot of home runs. Of course, we need to remember that all of this is across a mere 9.1 innings and his Austin Jackson-esque .530 BABIP should regress quite a bit. Also, the increase in homeruns has not been the result of an increase in fly balls (37.5% vs. 40.7% career), but rather an outrageous 25% HR/FB rate! His xFIP (which normalizes HR/FB rates) sits at a respectable 3.98.

The thing to remember is that relievers deal in small sample sizes. A few poor outings can taint one’s numbers drastically. D-Rob obviously has some things he needs to work out, but the signs are encouraging that he can. With some better luck, there’s no reason that he can’t be the pitcher he was last year.