Minnesota Twins: Will Pitcher Tyler Robertson Make an Impact Next Year?

Tom SchreierCorrespondent ISeptember 5, 2012

FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  Tyler Robertson #64 of the Minnesota Twins poses for a portrait on February 27, 2012 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Skinny

Tyler Robertson is left-handed and has a knack for getting a good player out in a tight spot.

 

In-depth

Let’s look at a specific scenario.

His June 17 outing against the Baltimore Orioles, Robertson had to face his favorite player growing up—Jim Thome.

It was the sixth inning and the game was tied 2-2. Wilson Betemit singled to center to lead off the inning and there was one out on the board when Robertson entered the game.

He got Nick Markakis to ground out to second and was instructed to intentionally walk former Twin JJ Hardy.

So, Thome comes up to bat with men on first and second.

“We walked a guy to get to a Hall of Famer,” said manager Ron Gardenhire. “[Thome] might be mad at me. It’s not the greatest moment in the world.”

Robertson’s first six pitches: two-seamer (ball), two-seamer (foul-tip), slider (ball), slider (called strike), two-seamer (foul) and slider (ball in dirt).

And with a full count, Robertson’s seventh pitch is a slider.

Strike three.

“That was a fun situation to be in,” said Robertson, who has a picture of himself and Thome sitting in his bedroom at home. “Thome was one of my favorite players growing up so that was pretty exciting. I was ready for the challenge and it worked out.”

“That’s a beautiful thing,” said Gardenhire of the moment. “That’s what baseball is all about.”

 

The Verdict

He’s left-handed.

He gets excited when he’s asked to face daunting hitters.

And he doesn’t have any problem facing the same guy multiple times.

“I remember in the minor leagues I faced guys in the lower levels, like rookie ball,” he says, “and they’d come up and face me in Double A. I remember specific at-bats. You retain it pretty well.”

In essence, he projects to be a left-handed one-out specialist in the future.

 

All quotes were obtained first-hand.

Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.