Former Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson never had the talent and live arm that current Tigers Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister have. But Robertson’s guts and grit were right up there with the league’s best. The lefty, who has not appeared in a Major League game since 2010, is making an attempt to make the Texas Rangers after a large adjustment to his pitching style. The majority of Robertson’s pitches are coming from a three-quarters arm slot in an effort to get more movement on his pitches. He says that it’s working.
“It’s a rebirth for my career,” Robertson told NBC’s Hardball Talk. “I’m getting the kind of movement I used to have when I was young but lost when I got hurt.”
After spending his whole career throwing from over-the-top, dropping down sidearm is a big adjustment, even for a Major Leaguer. The flattened arm slot leads to more tail from a lefty’s pitches forcing Nate Rob to learn quickly where his pitches will end up. A second adjustment is how good his arm feels the day after pitching.
Whether Robertson will make the Rangers is yet to be seen, but the early results have been solid. He’s thrown three innings without allowing a run or walking a batter. His goal: to become the Rangers’ rubber-armed reliever who can throw every other day.
It’d be a nice swan song for the true professional that Robertson has always been. Here’s one guy that’s rooting for him. Here’s video of a recent bullpen session via Hardball Talk.