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Does David Robertson Need To Be Sent Back Down To The Minors?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IMay 1, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 13:  Manager Joe Girardi #28 of the New York Yankees takes David Robertson out of the game in the top of the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the Yankees home opener at Yankee Stadium on April 13, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Following a Nick Swisher home run Saturday, the Yankees just reclaimed a 6-5 lead from the White Sox after Javier Vazquez's slow start put the Yankees in a quick hole.

However, in the top of the seventh, Yankee manager Joe Girardi pulled Sergio Mitre who pitched well in relief of Vazquez and went with reliever David Robertson. Robertson was projected to be one of the team's best relievers going in 2010.

Robertson was greeted to the game by a Paul Konerko double. He then intentionally walked Carlos Quentin, Girardi quickly yanked him and went with Damaso Marte to face A.J. Pierzynski.

The lefty versus lefty matchup normally favors Marte.

This time, Pierzynski ripped a two-run double to left putting Chicago back ahead for good at 7-6.

Because Robertson couldn't keep runners off the bases it cost him his second loss of the year. He is now 0-2 with a very high 12.71 ERA.

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What's causing concern is this isn't the first game Robertson has completely imploded.

Back in April against the Angels, the Yankees were up 7-1 in the ninth inning and Robertson loaded the bases. He then allowed a grand slam to Bobby Abreu to make the game 7-5.

The Yankees held on to win, but Robertson did everything possible to give the game back to Los Angeles.

This past week against the Orioles, Phil Hughes left the game with a 2-1 lead and Robertson was brought in. Three hits and two runs later the Yankees surrendered another lead and lost 5-4.

That was Robertson's first loss of the season.

There are games where Robertson's stuff is dead on, he's striking out hitters and looks impressive.

Then there are games where he looks like he did on Saturday. Terrible.

Robertson isn't pitching the same way he did in 2009. The way that earned him Girardi's trust last October for big outs. He's not pounding fastballs and dropping the heavy changeup.

He's either being too fine with pitches or his mechanics are out of whack. Something is not right with Robertson. He is indeed supposed to be one of the Yankees best and more reliable relievers and he has a 12-plus ERA to start out 2010.

Do the Yankees send down Robertson and try to fix his mechanics? Maybe give him a mental breather? Or do the Yankees with Dave Eiland work with the 25-year old and fix things on the major league level?

With how poorly Robertson's pitching, it'll be hard for Girardi to keep giving him these chances.

Also, with Mark Melancon pitching extremely well with an 1.40 ERA in AAA Scranton/Wills-Barre, you have to wonder if he'll replace Robertson.

Many people around baseball think Robertson has good stuff to be a great reliever and I feel like he can be very good at the major league level. But right now, Robertson has been anything but good.

Hopefully, this is just a rough month for the reliever. Robertson can look at tapes, work with Eiland and straighten things out on the mound because right now, his job is depending on it.

If Robertson does and can work out his troubles, great. One less thing for the Yankees to worry about.

But if Robertson doesn't, something might need to be done, which might end up being a demotion to the minors.

Time will tell. Stay tuned.

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