David Robertson earned the nickname "Houdini" early in his career for his ability to create bad situations, then escape them by stranding runners. After all, we're talking about a reliever who has stranded 79.1 percent of baserunners throughout 519 career innings. In 2016, he stranded 79.9 percent of baserunners but still posted a 3.47 ERA by falling back into the bad habit of giving up free passes, walking 32 batters last season after walking 36 over the previous two seasons combined. Couple that with a drop in his strikeout rate with a 31-point jump in his opponents' batting average, and you get the high reliever ERA. He had offseason knee surgery to clean up a meniscus tear that may have contributed to his struggles, and is expected to be ready for spring training. Unless the injury lingers or the rebuilding White Sox trade him, pencil him in for another 30 saves while, in some cases, handcuffing him with Nate Jones just in case.
Robertson walked two batters and struck out one over two-thirds of an inning to pick up his fourth save of the season in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Yankees. Robertson had trouble finding the zone as just eight of his 19 pitches landed for strikes. Due to the wonky control, the right-handed closer allowed his first two free passes of the season. And the walks led to his first inherited runner to score. Despite the troubles, he remained perfect on the season, having successfully converted all four save opportunities with a 0.00 ERA over six appearances.
Robertson struck out two men over one inning to earn his third save in Sunday's 3-1 win over Minnesota. Robertson hasn't been perfect this season, but he's been pretty close. He's allowed just one hit and no runs over his five outings while striking out 10.
Robertson struck out two in a perfect inning to earn his second save of the season in Friday's 2-1 win over the Twins. The White Sox bullpen has been stellar to start the season, ranking third with a 1.44 ERA. If Chicago's relievers keep this up, it will generate more save opportunities for Robertson.
Robertson pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Cleveland. He delivered a stress-free night in his first save chance of the year. After going unused for four straight games to open the year, Robertson has now appeared three times in four nights, as has top setup man Nate Jones, so manager Rick Renteria may need to get creative if a save chance comes up Thursday.
Robertson struck out two batters over a scoreless inning in a non-save situation in Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Royals. The White Sox have yet to need its closer to save a win, so Robertson's jog from the bullpen Sunday was his first of the season. He's been a pretty reliable closer the last three seasons but is most likely going to be traded at some point during the season. And that could result in a change in role.