It’s been 493 days since David Robertson last appeared in a major-league game for the Phillies. He injured his flexor tendon in April of 2019 after throwing just 136 regular-season pitches. Months later, Robertson suffered a setback that would require Tommy John surgery.
A year after surgery, Robertson, 35, is confident he’ll return to the Phillies bullpen at some point during the regular season. He’s currently rehabbing in Lehigh Valley and is on track to face live hitters relatively soon.
If it wasn’t for the league-wide shut down in March, Robertson thinks he could be even closer to returning than he is now. He was scheduled to throw off the mound the day after the suspension of the season.
“I was feeling really good at the time of the shutdown,” Robertson said Sunday. “Everything was just going right for me. I think I would be very, very close, if not ready. I’m coming up on a year since I’ve had surgery and I’m like, ‘I think I would have been ready.’ I honestly think I probably would have been ready by now. That’s the way things go. Everybody has had to deal with a lot of difficult things and I’m no different.”
He’s maxing out at around 88 mph on his fastball, but some days, he’ll find himself around 85.
“It’s just part of the rehab process. Some days you feel good, some days you don’t,” Robertson said.
As far as a timeline goes, Robertson thinks three weeks is the best-case scenario. Considering the Phillies bullpen holds the worst earned run average in baseball by a wide margin (8.77), his arrival would akin to a trade deadline acquisition.
“I don’t have a definitive timeline. I’m getting comfortable throwing all my pitches again and my arm strength is feeling really good. I haven’t thrown to any live hitters or anything. I’ve thrown some bullpens. I just started to get that crisp feeling out of a lot of pitches that I have. I hate to put a timeline on it because the last time I put a timeline on it I feel like I just rushed myself and cost myself to have a mini-setback mentally. I’m thinking at best maybe three weeks. But that’s not a hard date. I think if I could get comfortable I could pitch at the big league level in three weeks.”
Updates on Roman Quinn, Jean Segura, Jay Bruce and Reggie McClain
Center fielder Roman Quinn is in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox. He tested negative for COVID-19 after reporting an earache and sore throat prior to Sunday’s game against the New York Mets.
Jean Segura is not in tonight’s lineup, but he isn’t heading to the injured list as of now. His hamstring is feeling better, but Girardi thinks it would be best to give him an extra day or two of rest. He will reevaluate him Wednesday.
Jay Bruce is in the starting lineup, but he’ll need to pass tests during batting practice to remain in the lineup. He is scheduled to bat seventh and DH.
Right-handed reliever Reggie McClain returns from the injured list for the first game of the road trip. The 27-year-old was placed on the paternity list Aug. 3. When his three-day paternity leave was up, he was placed on the injured list with right shoulder impingement, retroactive Aug. 3. McClain has a 4.50 ERA in two innings pitched in 2020.
Update 5:22 pm: While Girardi said in his media availability that McClain is off the injured list, the Phillies have not officially activated him. Quinn takes RHP JoJo Romero’s spot on the active roster, who was optioned back to Lehigh Valley on Sunday. Outfielder Kyle Garlick remains on the active roster. He was called up Sunday to replace Quinn.
Extras: Andrew McCutchen (almost) misses the bus to the park
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