Phillies won't have David Robertson for another month and their schedule won't do them any favors over that stretch
The Phillies are going from an easy schedule to a really tough one
The Phillies are about to face a grueling schedule in the next few weeks and they'll continue to work through the season without their key offseason bullpen acquisition.
David Robertson hasn't pitched since April 14 due to an elbow injury and he met with the esteemed Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Fortunately, the news wasn't Tommy John surgery, but Robertson isn't exactly fast-tracked back to the majors, either.
Again, there's no timetable, but with no throwing for another three weeks and then working back into game shape and through a minor-league rehab assignment, it seems like Robertson will be out until at least July. At that point, it's reasonable to consider that he'll be out until after the All-Star break.
Robertson, 34, had a rough start with the Phillies, but he's talented enough to perform as one of the best relievers in baseball. In 69 2/3 innings last season, he struck out 91 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
Without Robertson, the bullpen certainly loses depth. Hector Neris, Seranthony Dominguez and Pat Neshek currently sit at the back-end of the bullpen and lefty Adam Morgan has been doing quality work. The group is certainly capable enough, as the Phillies sit 23-16 and in first place in the NL East.
Moving forward, however, I think they'll feel the loss of Robertson a lot more. They haven't been tested nearly as much as they will be in the coming weeks.
First off, the Phillies' opponents' winning percentage to date is .454, which is easily the worst in the majors. Thirty of their 39 games have come against sub-.500 teams. They've played 21 of their 39 at home and only three road games have come against a winning team.
Starting Monday night, here's how things stack up:
Holy smokes that's a tough stretch. That's a .567 strength of schedule winning percentage, so it's akin to the Phillies playing a 92-win team for 23 straight games.
The Phillies have been really good so far in 2019 and the bullpen has been pretty darn competent (3.89 bullpen ERA which is eighth in MLB) without its most important piece, but this is about to be tested for nearly a month against top-shelf competition they haven't seen much thus far.
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