NEW YORK - David Robertson, the most important and accomplished reliever in the Phillies' bullpen, is feeling good and might not be too far away from returning from a Grade 1 flexor strain in his throwing arm.
Robertson was upbeat Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field before the series finale between the Phillies and Mets. He admitted he's been antsy to get back during this process. He hasn't spent much time on the shelf throughout his 12-year big-league career, visiting the IL (then the DL) just twice, in 2012 with an oblique strain and 2014 when he "pulled something in [his] butt."
Robertson will be reevaluated by the Phillies' medical staff when they return home for the four-game series against the Marlins. He is hoping and assuming that evaluation will take place Thursday. If it goes well, he can resume throwing.
Robertson, who signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the Phillies this past offseason, has made seven appearances. The first three were ugly - four runs, 10 baserunners in two innings. The next four were strong - 4⅔ scoreless innings, four baserunners, five strikeouts.
Robertson felt the tenderness most when he would release the ball. He does not want to use the soreness as an excuse for those first three outings, one of them a ninth-inning meltdown in D.C. He's felt soreness and nagging pain at times during his long career like most major-leaguers so it's not always easy to determine when it's affecting his performance.
He's hoping that he doesn't need a rehab stint in the minor leagues but realizes it may be necessary given his recent inactivity. The last game in which Robertson appeared was April 14 in Miami when he pitched two scoreless innings in a Phillies win.
He's eager to get back, especially with the team's recent struggles. The Phillies entered Wednesday's game 1-5 on their two-city road trip.
"You watch some of these close games and think, 'Man, it should be me out there," he said. "But I don't want to be stubborn."