Nate Robertson

Nate Robertson
Nate Robertson

Seattle Mariners — No. 32
Born: September 3, 1977 (1977-09-03) (age 34)
Wichita, Kansas
Bats: Right Throws: Left 
MLB debut
September 7, 2002 for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through 2010 season)
Win–loss record     55–77
Earned run average     5.01
Strikeouts     775

Nathan Daniel "Nate" Robertson, (born September 3, 1977, in Wichita, Kansas) is a Major League Baseball pitcher who currently pitches in the Seattle Mariners organization.



Florida Marlins

Robertson attended Wichita State University and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the fifth round of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. Robertson underwent Tommy John surgery in 1998 while a sophomore at Wichita State.[1] Robertson pitched for the Low-A Utica Blue Sox and Single-A Kane County Cougars; with the latter he was 6–1 with a 2.29 ERA in eight starts. Robertson returned to Kane County for the 2000 season but spent most of the year on the disabled list battling tendinitis in his left elbow. Florida moved him up to the High-A Brevard County Manatees, where he went 11–4 as a starter. Robertson's rise continued in 2002, as Florida promoted him to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs of the Eastern League. At Portland Robertson amassed a 10–9 record with a 3.42 ERA, sufficient that Florida summoned him to the major league club in early September.[2]

Robertson made his Major League debut on September 7, 2002, for the Marlins, pitching 4⅔ innings and allowing four earned runs in a 4–1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.[2] Robertson moved to the bullpen for the remainder of the season, making five relief appearances. The following January Florida traded Robertson along with Gary Knotts and Rob Henkel to the Detroit Tigers for Mark Redman and Jerrod Fuell.[3]

Detroit Tigers

Robertson began the 2003 season with the Toledo Mud Hens, Detroit's Triple-A affiliate. Robertson remained there until late August, when Detroit, recalled him. In his first start with Detroit and second major league start overall, Robertson threw 8 1/3 innings against the Texas Rangers, giving up two earned runs and striking out eight. Robertson did not figure in the decision, as Detroit lost the game 4–2 in sixteen innings.[4] Robertson won his first major league game eleven days later, pitching five innings in an 8–4 victory over the Chicago White Sox.[5]

Robertson's best pitch is his four-seam fastball, followed by a "plus" slider and major-league quality change-up.[citation needed]

In 2005, he began wearing clear corrective lenses to correct his lazy eye.[citation needed]

Robertson invented a new means of rallying the Tigers during a June 2006 game with the New York Yankees. While wearing a microphone for television, Robertson began stuffing his mouth with Big League Chew to encourage the Tigers to score, down 5–0. Iván Rodríguez hit a home run on the subsequent at-bat. Though the Tigers lost the game, the "Gum Time!" tradition has caught on among Detroit players and fans.[6]

Robertson earned his first career postseason victory on October 10, 2006, by pitching five shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics in game 1 which helped launch the Detroit Tigers into their ALCS sweep of the A's and their first pennant since 1984.

In 2008 he tied for the major league lead in bunt hits allowed, with nine.[7]

Robertson is also a part owner of the Wichita Wingnuts independent baseball organization.[8]

On August 22, 2008, Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced that Nate was being demoted to the bullpen due to ongoing trouble with his slider.[9] Nate was quoted by the Detroit Free Press as saying that it was the "lowest point" of his career.[10]

Second stint with Florida Marlins

On March 30, 2010, Robertson was traded to the Florida Marlins for minor league pitcher Jay Voss and cash considerations.[11] He was designated for assignment on July 21.[12] One week later he was released.

St. Louis Cardinals & Philadelphia Phillies

Robertson signed a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on August 2, 2010, and was assigned to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. Robertson exercised an opt-out clause on August 23,[13] and signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on August 24, 2010, reporting to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.[14] On September 9, 2010, Robertson was designated for assignment by the Phillies, a day after giving up 5 runs in 2/3 innings against the Marlins and nearly blowing a 10 run lead.

Seattle Mariners

On January 20, 2011, Robertson signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners with an invitation to Spring Training.[15]


  1. ^ Beck, Jason (June 10, 2009). "Tigers know jewels found later in Draft: Zumaya not only big name culled outside top rounds". Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  2. ^ a b "Team notes: National League East". USA Today. September 10, 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  3. ^ "Timeout: Marlins, Tigers complete a five-player deal". Gainesville Sun. January 12, 2003.,2506541&dq=nate-robertson+detroit. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  4. ^ "Box Score: Tex 4, Det 2". August 18, 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  5. ^ "DETROIT 8, CHI WHITE SOX 4". August 29, 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  6. ^ Robbins, Lenn (October 8, 2006). "Nate has somethin' to chew on". New York Post: p. 103. 
  7. ^ "2008 Major League Baseball Baserunning/Situational". Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  8. ^ "Front Office Staff – Wichita Wingnuts Baseball". Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  9. ^ AP Photo. "Tigers move Nate Robertson to bullpen". Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  10. ^ Lowe, John (2008-08-23). "Nate Robertson sent to bullpen; Dontrelle Willis won't replace him". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2008-08-25. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Tigers trade Robertson to Marlins; Willis wins rotation spot". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press (Time Inc.). 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  12. ^ "Florida Marlins designate Nate Robertson for assignment; call up catcher Brad Davis". Fish Tank, a blog. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  13. ^ By Matthew Leach / "Cards put Reyes on DL; recall Salas | News". Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  14. ^ "Phillies sign P Robertson to minor league deal". Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  15. ^

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