Not much about pitching for the New York Yankees smacks of subtlety. When you are one of the most prolific strikeout pitchers in baseball and heir apparent to Mariano Rivera’s Yankee Closer throne, people tend to keep close tabs on your actions.
David Robertson fits the above criteria. In 2012, 32% of the batters he faces go down by strikeout, which is very good. His numbers in 2012 are very, very good as well. 27 Shutdowns, 1.5 WAR, 2.79 RA/9, 79 strikeouts against just 19 walks in a shade under 60 innings. Quite Good.
The thing is last year David Robertson was basically unhittable. He was a human version of 2012 Craig Kimbrel, posting a 13.5 K/9 rate and nearly 4 rWAR. Almost anything Robertson did in 2012 would pale in comparison to his superlative 2011 numbers. After an ill-fated turn in the closer’s seat an injury shelved Robertson for a month, the boatload of “what’s wrong with David Robertson?” blog posts and newspaper articles were all but inevitable.