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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Rich Robertson moved his fastball over six major league seasons

Rich Robertson picked up his first major league win the previous week in September 1995, now this week, he picked up his first complete-game win, The Chicago Tribune wrote.

"I moved my fastball in and out, and my sinker was good," Robertson told Tribune after the 6-1 victory. "The key was I was keeping it down. I got a lot of first-pitch outs, and that really helped."

Robertson had seen time in two previous major league seasons, though not as a starter. He went on to pitch in a total of six. In two of them, he started 31 and 26 games each.

Robertson's career began in 1990, taken by the Pirates in the ninth round of the draft out of Texas AandM.

Robertson started with the Pirates at short-season Welland. He went 3-4, with a 3.08 ERA. He made high-A Salem in 1991, then AA Carolina in 1992.

Then, in April 1993, he made Pittsburgh. Robertson saw nine games, giving up six earned in nine innings of work.

A few days before his major league debut, Robertson explained to The Buffalo News about his delivery, a hitch meant he had to pitch slower. Too rapid and he'd lose some control.

Later that month, ahead of Robertson's major league debut, Pirates manager Jim Leyland talked up Robertson to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"He's got a chance to develop into a good pitcher," Leyland told The Post-Gazette. "That's why we held onto him. We wanted to give him a chance to face some better hitters. We think he has a future."

His future, though, was largely elsewhere. He saw eight outings with the Pirates in 1994. He then moved to the Twins for 1995.

Robertson stayed with the Twins for three seasons. He saw 25 outings in 1995, then 36 in 1996. He went 7-17 for the Twins that year, with a 5.12 ERA.

He then got into 31 games, starting 26, in 1997. He went 8-12, with a 5.69 ERA. He moved to the Angels for 1998 and saw five final relief appearances there. He gave up 10 earned in 5.2 innings of work to end his major league career.

He played two more seasons, 1999 in affiliated ball and 2000 in independent ball to end his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,304
Made the Majors:1,186-35.9%-X
Never Made Majors:2,118-64.1%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 491-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:286

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