If the Philadelphia Phillies want to contend for a playoff spot this year, they are going to need stability out of their bullpen.
Right-handed reliever Seranthony Dominguez is already out for the season. David Robertson is still rehabbing after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August.
Back in February, Phillies manager Joe Girardi told the media that he was hopeful of getting his reliever back this year.
“Hopefully at some point, we get Robertson back,” Girardi said. “If we get a David Robertson back sometime in the second half, that’s [like] a deadline trade that can be a difference-maker.”
Robertson provided an update on his rehab when he joined Sweeny Murti and Ed Coleman Sunday night on Sports Radio 66 WFAN.
“I feel really good,” Robertson said. “I have been able to throw in the mid-80s at 120 feet so I feel like my fastball velocity has really come back. Starting to spin breaking balls in. I just have to see what I can do when I get on a mound.”
On Sunday night, the Phillies placed the veteran reliever on the 60-day injured list when they announced their 53-man roster for spring training II, which is set to start later this week. Seven spots on the roster remain vacant as of Monday morning.
The 35-year-old is optimistic about a return sometime later in the season.
“I am hoping to be back 30 games in and whatever is going to be of a postseason,” Robertson said.
Given that, with him currently on the 60-day injured list, returning 30 games into the season is impossible.
In a typical season, when a player is placed on the 60-day injured list the minimum amount of days he must remain on it is 60. However, as part of MLB’s health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 60-day injured list becomes the 45-day injured list. This means he is eligible to return on the 46th calendar day of the regular season. The earliest he could return to the team is Sept. 5.
Certainly, though, the Phillies getting Robertson back during the last month of the season not only can provide them with stability but also a fresh arm that can be used if they find themselves chasing a playoff spot during the last stretch of the season.
Robertson is on the final year of his two-year, $23 million contract which has a $12 million team option for 2021.
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