DAVID Alan ROBERTSON
Image of D-Rob or Houdini
Nickname:   D-Rob or Houdini Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   RANGERS
Height: 5' 11" Bats:   R
Weight: 195 Throws:   R
DOB: 4/9/1985 Agent: Lapa/Leventhal
Uniform #: 19  
Birth City: Birmingham, AL
Draft: Yankees #17 - 2006 - Out of Univ. of Alabama
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2007 SAL CHARLESTON, SC   24 47 25 67 15 0 0 0 3 5 2 0.151 0.77
2007 FSL TAMPA   18 33 18 37 15 0 0 0 1 3 1 0.159 1.08
2007 EL TRENTON   2 4 2 9 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 0.143 2.25
2008 EL TRENTON   9 18.2 8 26 6 0 0 0 2 0 0   0.96
2008 IL SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE   21 35 20 51 17 0 0 0 1 4 0   2.06
2008 AL YANKEES   25 30.1 29 36 15 0 0 0 0 4 0 0.257 5.34
2009 IL SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE   8 14.2 10 25 6 0 0 0 2 0 3   1.84
2009 AL YANKEES   45 43.2 36 63 23 0 0 0 1 2 1 0.216 3.30
2010 AL YANKEES $427.00 64 61.1 59 71 33 0 0 0 1 4 5 0.258 3.82
2011 AL YANKEES $460.00 70 66.2 40 100 35 0 0 0 1 4 0 0.17 1.08
2012 IL SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE   2 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2012 AL YANKEES $1,600.00 65 60.2 52 81 19 0 0 0 2 2 7 0.229 2.67
2013 AL YANKEES $3,100.00 70 66.1 51 77 18 0 0 0 3 5 1 0.213 2.04
2014 AL YANKEES $5,215.00 63 64.1 45 96 23 0 0 0 39 4 5 0.192 3.08
2015 AL WHITE SOX $10,000.00 60 63.1 46 86 13 0 0 0 34 6 5 0.196 3.41
2016 AL WHITE SOX $11,000.00 62 62.1 53 75 32 0 0 0 37 5 3 0.231 3.47
2017 AL WHITE SOX   31 33.1 21 47 11 0 0 0 13 4 2 0.176 2.70
2017 AL YANKEES   30 35 14 51 12 0 0 0 1 5 0 0.119 1.03
2018 AL YANKEES $13,000.00 69 69.2 46 91 26 0 0 0 5 8 3 0.183 3.23
2019 NL PHILLIES $11,000.00 7 6.2 8 6 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.296 5.40
2020 - IL-Tommy John                            
2021 TAE DURHAM   6 6 4 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 0.00
2021 AL RAYS   12 12 11 16 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.239 4.50
2022 NL CUBS $3,500.00 36 40.1 23 51 19 0 0 0 14 3 0 0.162 2.23
2022 NL PHILLIES   8 7.2 6 11 5 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.214 1.17
2023 NL METS $10,000.00 40 44 31 48 13 0 0 0 14 4 2 0.199 2.05
2023 NL MARLINS   1 2 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.25 9.00
Personal
  • In 2006, Robertson had a strong season in the Cape Cod League. He struck out almost two batters per inning in the playoffs and didn't allow a base runner in his four saves. He was on the mound when his team, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, won the title. And he was postseason MVP.

  • In 2006, Robertson got drafted by the Yankees (see Transactions below).  

  • In 2007, Robertson's older brother, Connor, made his debut with the A's.

  • In 2008, Baseball America rated Robertson as the 24th-best prospect in the Yankees organization. In the winter before 2009 spring training, they moved David up to #15 in the Yankee farm system. 

  • In August 2012, David's wife, Erin, gave birth to the couple's first child. 

  • Robertson is somewhat flattered that so many people pay attention to the status of his socks, as it seems to create a minor stir every time he wears them differently.

    For example, on September 5, 2012, David pitched with his pants legs low, shunning his usual high-socks look. Robertson said the change had nothing to do with the club's recent struggles.

    "I'm not really a superstitious guy," Robertson said. "It's just that I was joking around with Stew [catcher Chris Stewart], and I asked if I should wear them down. He said, 'Absolutely,' so I did."

    Robertson and his wife, Erin, embraced the look by naming their charity High Socks for Hope. Robertson said no name change is in the works.

  • David's tendency to invite trouble by walking batters, only to escape it by getting strikeouts, has earned him the nickname "Houdini." 

  • David is a huge University of Alabama fan.

  • At the University of Alabama, David was a classmate of Joe Namath's daughter, Jessica. Robertson believes they shared an English class during his sophomore year.

  • Walk-Up-Music: Robertson has "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

  • April 28-May 1, 2016: Robertson went on the bereavement list.

  • In 2017, Robertson was selected to represent the USA in the World Baseball Classic.

  • July 3-5, 2017: David was on the paternity list who has been expecting his second child with his wife Erin.

  • August 13, 2018: While his teammates talk sushi and crickets, David reveals that the strangest thing he's ever eaten is dog food. He reasons, if you give it to your dog, you're going to try it.

    CHARITIES

  • In 2013, Robertson founded the charity, High Socks for Hope, after his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was ravaged by tornadoes in 2011. Watching television coverage of the devastation centered in Moore, Oklahoma brought Robertson right back to that time period.

    "It's the exact same thing that happened to Tuscaloosa. It looks like they got hit worse," Robertson said. "It looked like the tornado was even bigger and it happened to hit residential areas. The same thing as in Tuscaloosa—it just split the town in half."

    Robertson and his wife, Erin, prepared care packages of essential items that were then sent to Oklahoma and help with the ongoing efforts.

    "We can step in and provide items that families may have lost," Robertson said. "We're a small organization and we have very minimal overhead, so everything that comes into our charity, we turn around and use.

    "Whether it's buying mattresses or furniture, our main goal has been to get people back in their houses. Once their house gets rebuilt, they don't have money to go out and buy furniture. We can still go in and help those people out."

  • Regarding his charity, High Socks for Hope, David said, "My wife is the CEO pretty much. She runs most of it. I'm on the e-mail chains and I answer when I can, and I do whatever I can whenever I can. But she's the one, Judy Holland, whom Robertson calls 'our golden girl who helps us.' They keep High Socks for Hope going. Keep funds coming in and keep finding volunteers and new families to help and keep moving forward.  

    "It's awesome. It's incredible. My wife and I have worked really hard in our charity endeavors. You know, keep High Socks for Hope going and keep helping families that are in need. To be nominated for an award that honors a man who did so much for so many different communities means a lot to me."  

    High Socks for Hope has provided furnishings and other resources for those who lost everything in various states, including more than 175 homes in Illinois, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.  

    In April 2015, just days before the home opener at U.S. Cellular Field, a tornado tore through the Illinois towns of Rochelle and Fairdale.  High Socks for Hope immediately sent volunteers and aid to those communities. Robertson and his wife visited the towns in August to meet with families and helped build a house with the assistance of Habitat for Humanity and numerous other volunteers. (Merkin - mlb.com - 9/14/15)

  • 2017: As Hurricane Harvey ripped through Houston in August, David watched from afar as the large city dealt with massive flooding. Days later, Hurricane Irma battered Florida, leaving many people with significant damage to their homes and thousands more without power. Robertson doesn't reside in either of those regions, but the Yankees reliever wasn't about to sit by idly while so many people struggled to get their lives back on track.

    "Once you see how quickly people's lives are disrupted, you want to try to step in and help as much as you can," Robertson said. "Seeing these latest hurricanes come in, I knew exactly what it was like." Robertson's view on natural disasters changed on April 27, 2011, when a violent tornado ravaged his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala. The tornado, with winds reaching as high as 190 mph, devastated parts of Tuscaloosa before making its way into Birmingham, Alabama, wrecking an 80-mile stretch of the state in the process. "I lost places that I knew my entire childhood," Robertson said. "They were just gone."

    Robertson and his wife, Erin, wanted to help. They established a fund to raise money, calling it "High Socks for Hope," a play on the way Robertson wears his socks when he pitches. The response was overwhelming. Fans and teammates alike helped the Robertsons raise a couple hundred thousand dollars, all of which went directly to the tornado victims as they tried to rebuild their lives.

    "Dave is such a hometown boy," Erin said. "He grew up in Tuscaloosa and went to high school and college there; it's such a part of him. We wanted to do something that would make an impact on Tuscaloosa, to make sure the donations went to the right place. We decided to take donations ourselves, created a fund and made sure that 100 percent of the money went to the people that needed it—and not to a larger organization's overhead."

    The Robertsons reached out to furniture companies and bought in bulk, helping outfit new homes. They gathered volunteers to help feed the hungry or clean out houses, chipping in anywhere they could. "We were just thinking in the moment; we had no idea how much money we would raise. Then, all of a sudden, it was hundreds of thousands of dollars," Erin said. "We realized how much of a difference we could make. Once we went down there and helped people first-hand, we saw the impact we could make without that much money. Being able to buy a family a new bed and seeing the difference it could make in their lives, it motivated us to do more and more."

    The fund eventually became The David and Erin Robertson Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting victims of natural disasters and helping homeless veterans restart their lives. During its six years in existence, "High Socks for Hope" has provided furniture and supplies for new homes in Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, New York and New Jersey. Victims of Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Harvey in Texas will join the list in the coming weeks.

    "We're there to help and get what's needed for them," David said. "Whenever we get to go to Alabama and we meet a family that we helped out, just seeing the joy and happiness on their faces makes it all worthwhile. Being able to build somebody a house that wouldn't have been able to, that's an incredible feeling. "That's why we kept the charity going; events like this keep happening, and there are always people that need help."

    The foundation has only one full-time employee, keeping the overhead costs to a minimum. That means that nearly all of the donations the Robertsons receive can go directly toward the purchases of beds, dressers, nightstands, kitchen appliances, bedding, sofas and dining room tables and chairs, giving those who lost everything a chance to begin the long road back to normalcy.  (M Feinsand - MLB.com - Sept 30, 2017)

  • 2017: In the Yankees' clubhouse, no one is more in tune with the spirit of giving than David Robertson, whose charitable endeavors off the diamond prompted his fellow Major Leaguers to select him as a finalist for the prestigious Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award this season.

    Through his charity, High Socks for Hope, Robertson has been actively helping communities in Florida and Texas recover from hurricane devastation. With a stated mission of helping victims of natural disasters and homeless veterans rebuild their homes and their lives, the charity was inspired by a 2011 hurricane that hit Robertson's hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    "Once you see how quickly people's lives are disrupted, you want to try to step in and help as much as you can," Robertson said. "Seeing these latest hurricanes come in, I knew exactly what it was like."

    Having been traded in July from the White Sox to the Yankees, it may have been the busiest year ever for High Socks for Hope. The charity mobilized swiftly and effectively, sending truckloads of needed supplies to affected areas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

    "Just seeing the joy and happiness on their faces makes it all worthwhile," Robertson said. "Being able to build somebody a house that wouldn't have been able to, that's an incredible feeling. That's why we kept the charity going; events like this keep happening, and there are always people that need help." 

    Robertson is actively involved in "Rick's Fund," which honors his wife Erin's late father, Rick, by bringing awareness to pancreatic cancer. Robertson has also raised funds for the family of former White Sox teammate Daniel Webb, who was killed at age 28 in an ATV accident.

    "Daniel was a good friend of mine," Robertson said. "We easily bonded over our love of the outdoors. He left this world way too young, but left us all with lasting memories. He was recently married with a brand new baby, so we started this fund to help with the overwhelming expenses that his wife has been left with."  (B Hoch - MLB.com - Nov 25, 2017)

  • March 31, 2020: Video calls have become a way of life for people around the globe, keeping friends and family connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. So when David Robertson was approached recently with a unique fundraising opportunity, the Phillies reliever was all in.

    Charitybuzz and CharityBids have partnered with EndCOVID-19 to auction off a number of online experiences to raise money for victims of coronavirus. EndCOVID-19, a nonprofit organization, was launched to help fund emergency medical resources and supplies for victims and medical workers, including N95 masks, medical masks, personal protective equipment, respirators and more. Robertson is auctioning off a 15-minute Skype or Zoom session, which will be held sometime in April. 

    “It’s a great idea,” Robertson said. “I have plenty of time these days, so why not do something to help? And it will give me something to do for 15 minutes.”

    What can the winning bidder expect from their 15-minute chat with the former All-Star and World Series champion?

    “My plan is just to talk and have a conversation,” Robertson said. “I’ll answer any questions, tell them what we’re doing, see what they’re doing. I’m sure we’re both doing the same thing—staying in the house a lot. It will be nice to just have a face-to-face conversation with someone, even if it’s over the Internet.”

    Robertson, who is rehabbing from last August’s Tommy John surgery, has been sitting at home with his wife, Erin, and their two children, waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to take a turn for the better.

    “It’s been very strange,” Robertson said.

    “I’m trying to be very aware of social distancing,” Robertson said. “I could call somebody to come play catch with me, but I would hate it if either one of us got sick because of it. You do what you have to do.”

    Other auction items benefiting EndCOVID-19 include video chats with illusionist David Blaine, Olympic hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones, actors Jeremy Piven, Kenan Thompson, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Kristen Chenowith, a virtual video game session with Grammy Award-winning artist Ne-Yo and many more. (M Feinsand - MLB.com - March 31, 2020)

  • July 2021: The 36-year-old pitched as the United States secured the silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics.

  • June 22, 2022: At-bats are not for closers.

    Cubs reliever David Robertson waited until the 696th game of his 14-season career for his first at-bat. So who can blame him for smiling after striking out?

    In the ninth inning of the Cubs' 14-5 rout of the Pirates, the veteran reliever, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning, grabbed Yan Gomes' helmet and Christopher Morel's bat to see how the other half lives. It's an opportunity that, in Robertson’s words, “made my dream come true.” (J Crouse - MLB.com - June 22, 2022)

  • Aug. 2022: Robertson chose to participate in the 2023 WBC for the U.S.

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2006: The Yankees chose Robertson in the 17th round, out of the University of Alabama. He signed for $200,000.

  • January 17, 2012: Robertson and the Yankees avoid arbitration when they agreed on a one-year contract worth $1.6 million.
  • January 25, 2013: David and the Yankees agreed on a one-year deal worth $3.1 million, avoiding arbitration.

  • December 9, 2014: The White Sox signed Robertson to a four-year, $46 million contract.

  • July 19, 2017: The White Sox traded 3B Todd Frazier, RHP David Robertson, and RHP Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees; acquiring RHP Tyler Clippard, LHP Ian Clarkin, CF Blake Rutherford, and CF Tito Polo.

  • Oct 29, 2018: David chose free agency.

  • Jan 3, 2019: Robertson signed with the Phillies on a two-year, $23 million deal, with a team option for 2021. (In October 2020, the Phils declined the option.)

  • Aug 16, 2021: The Rays signed free agent Robertson.

  • Nov 3, 2021: David chose free agency.

  • March 16, 2022: The Cubs signed David to a one-year deal. Robertson's deal comes with a base salary of $3.5 million, plus $1.5 million in incentives.

  • Aug 2, 2022: The Cubs traded David back to the Phillies for RHP Ben Brown.

  • Nov 6, 2022: David chose free agency.

  • Dec 8, 2022: The Mets signed free agent Robertson to a one-year, $10 million deal.

  • July 28, 2023: The Mets traded Robertson to the Marlins for 2B Marco Vargas and C Ronald Hernandez.

  • Nov 2, 2023: David elected free agency. 

  • Jan. 24, 2024: The Rangers signed Robertson. Robertson will get $11.5 million guaranteed in the deal. He'll earn $5 million in 2024 with a $7 million mutual option for 2025 ($1.5 million buyout). There is also $1 million per year in deferred money from 2027-31.
Pitching
  • Robertson's sinking two-seam SINKER is in the 91-95 mph range. His CUTTER is 91-94 mph with natural cutting and tailing action. His strikeout pitch is an impressive 82-84 mph power CURVEBALL with good depth and 12-to-6 downer bite. Many scouts rated David's curve a 70.

    He occasionally throws an 83-85 mph SLIDER.

    He is working on a CHANGEUP to combat lefthanded hitters. It is 86-89 mph—not enough differentiation from his heater.

  • David doesn't give up many home runs. His first year in pro ball, 2007, he didn't allow a single home run in 84 innings pitched.

  • In May 2012, Robertson took over as the Yankees' closer when Mariano Rivera tore his ACL and was out for the season. But soon after that, Rafael Soriano took over for Robertson . . . and did a great job. But in 2014, it was Robertson who inherited the Yankees' closer job from Mariano Rivera. He did not disappoint this time, with 39 saves and 96 Ks in 64 innings. This helped him land a big contract with the White Sox.

  • In 2016, David's 34 saves made him one of five pitchers in White Sox history to record at least 30 saves in back-to-back seasons. 

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: Sinker 2.2% of the time; Change 1.8% of the time; Curve 30%; and Cutter 66% of the time.

  • 2017 Season Pitch Usage: Sinker 1% of the time; Change 1.2% of the time; Slider 7.6%; Curve 41%; and Cutter 49.4% of the time.

  • 2018 Season Pitch Usage: Sinker less than 1% of the time; Change less than 1% of the time; Slider 11.5%; Curve 45.8%; and Cutter 41.6% of the time.  Average velocity: Sinker 94 mph, Change 88.3, Slider 86.9, Curve 84.1, and Cutter 92.5 mph.

  • 2019 Season Pitch Usage: Sinker 4.4%; Slider 12.5%; Curveball 30.2%; and Cutter 52.9% of the time. Average velocity: Sinker 92.5, Slider 87, Curve 83.1, and Cutter 92.1 mph.

  • 2020 Season Pitch Usage: Did not pitch.

  • 2021 Season Pitch Usage: Sinker less than 1%; Slider less than 1%; Curveball 29.1%; and Cutter 70.2% of the time. Average velocity: Sinker 92.4, Slider 84.3, Curve 83.4, and Cutter 92.4 mph.

  • 2022 Season Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Cutter 49.7% - 93 mph; Curve 29.6% - 84.5 mph; Slider 21% - 84 mph.
  • 2022 Season: The 37-year-old looked like his career might have been over after appearing in just seven games in 2019 and none in 2020 because of injury. In 2021 he got a shot with the Rays and appeared in 12 games.

    The Cubs signed the veteran prior to the 2022 campaign, and he looked like the David Robertson of old.

    As a Cub, he had a 2.23 ERA in 36 appearances. He was traded to the Phillies at the deadline and posted a 2.70 ERA for them in 22 appearances. Overall, he went 4-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 58 appearances.

    Robertson struck out 11.5 batters per nine and allowed just 0.8 HR/9. He walked far too many (4.9 BB/9) but he still managed a 1.162 WHIP because he didn't allow many hits. His stuff still plays.

    Robertson has allowed just one run in 5.1 innings this postseason as well and boasts a career 2.91 postseason ERA.  (Zachary Rotman - Nov. 3, 2022)

  • May 13, 2023: Robertson became only the fourth pitcher to record 1,000 strikeouts.

  • 2023 Season: Robertson, who turns 39 on April 9, split last season with the New York Mets and Miami Marlins, compiling a 6-6 record, 18 saves, a 3.03 ERA (22 ER/65.1 IP), and 78 strikeouts over 62 relief appearances. He opened the campaign with the Mets and posted a 2.05 ERA (10 ER/44.0 IP) over 40 outings before a mid-season trade on July 28 sent him to Miami in exchange for C Ronald Hernandez and INF Marco Vargas. Despite registering a 5.06 ERA (12 ER/21.1 IP) in his 22 appearances for the Marlins, he still finished the 2023 campaign ranked among National League relief leaders (min. 60.0 IP) in wins (T11th), ERA (12th), and strikeouts per 9.0 innings (12th, 10.74).
Career Injury Report
  • March 7, 2012: Robertson fell down a flight of stairs while moving empty boxes at his spring training home in Tampa. X-rays and an MRI were taken of his right mid-foot. It showed only a bone bruise.

    David was fitted with a walking boot and used crutches.

  • May 12-June 14, 2012: David was on the D.L. after suffering a strained left oblique while pitching. The rib cage injury put him on the shelf for a month.

  • April 7-22, 2014: Robertson was on the D.L for two weeks with a groin strain.

    David, who said he had never suffered a groin injury before, injured himself while pitching the ninth inning in Toronto. After reporting continued pain after arriving at Yankee Stadium the next morning, he underwent an MRI that revealed the Grade 1 strain in his left leg.

  • October 2016: Robertson had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. The procedure was a simple cleanup of a meniscus issue that he had pitched with for a while. The club said he will be without restrictions upon reporting for Spring Training in 2017.

  • April 15-end of 2019 season: Robertson went on the Injured List and stayed there all season. 

    August 15, 2019: Robertson underwent Tommy John surgery.

  • Feb. 12-Oct 30, 2020: Robertson was on the 60-day IL for his rehab and recovery from TJ surgery.

  • May 9-18, 2022: The Cubs put Robertson on the Covid-19 IL.