Jake Arrieta isn’t the only pitcher expected to miss serious time this year. According to multiple reports, closer David Robertson underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday, effectively putting him on the shelf through the 2020 season.
Robertson, 34, developed a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right elbow back in April, and has been laid up ever since. There was some speculation that he might be able to begin a throwing program in mid-May, but he was shut down shortly after playing catch and did not make any significant progress in the months that followed. He underwent both Tommy John surgery and a procedure to repair the flexor tendon on Thursday and will require 14-16 months of recovery.
Prior to his injured list assignment, the veteran closer struggled through just seven appearances in the majors, issuing four runs, six walks, and six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. It’ll be some time before he can work back up to the totals he produced with the Yankees in 2018, during which he recorded five saves with a 3.23 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 11.8 SO/9, and 1.5 fWAR through 69 2/3 innings.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.