Is Nate Robertson a Changed Man? Let's Hope So.

Austin DrakeSenior Analyst IAugust 27, 2009

LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Nate Robertson #29 poses for a portrait during the Detroit Tigers Photo Day on February 24, 2007 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The 2009 season got off to a rough start for Nate Robertson. A really rough start.

After being demoted to the bullpen to make room for young stud Rick Porcello, Robertson struggled. In 21 appearances, he posted a 7.71 ERA, allowing 25 hits in 21 innings of work. Not too good, I know.

The Tigers had enough and placed Nate on the 15-Day Disabled List with elbow soreness.

After very minor surgery on the elbow, Robertson returned to the mound with the Tigers Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mudhens, for some rehab starts.

In the minors, Nate is doing everything but struggling. He's been top-notch. In five starts, Robertson is 1-1 in 19 innings with a 1.89 ERA, allowing just four walks and ringing up 21 hitters.

His stand-out effort at Triple-A Toledo earned Robertson his way back to the Majors. Detroit sent Armando Galarraga down with elbow inflammation, opening up a slot in the pitching rotation for Nate.

He will get the ball and toe the slab this Saturday vs. Tampa Bay at Comerica Park.

Let's hope, for the Tigers sake, that he has left his past behind him and can keep Detroit in the game long enough for the offense to kick in.