A sterling performance in the high-scoring Pacific Coast League earned Nick Robertson his first trip to the majors. The 24-year-old right-hander pitched for a pair of teams in 2023, beginning with the Dodgers.
Robertson was drafted by the Dodgers in the seventh round in 2019 out of James Madison, and in 2022 he reached Triple-A in Oklahoma City. He was eligible for the Rule 5 Draft last year but was not selected, and earned a non-roster invitation to spring training with the Dodgers. Being an NRI pitcher at Camelback Ranch proved fruitful, as 10 of the 16 non-roster arms in camp ended up pitching in the majors for Los Angeles during the season.
The Dodgers called up Robertson on June 6 after a strong start in Triple-A. In all with Oklahoma City, Robertson had a 2.54 ERA in 28⅓ innings, with 42 strikeouts (a 37.5-percent rate) and nine walks in his 15 appearances.
Robertson had two stints in the majors with the Dodgers, and pitched in nine of the 29 games for which he was active. His lone decision came on July 16 against the Mets in New York. After the Dodgers failed to score the free runner from second base in the bottom of the 10th, Robertson threw only three pitches in the bottom of the frame before Luis Guillorme doubled home the game-winning unearned run.
Though Robertson’s ERA with the Dodgers began with a six, and he gave up 10 runs (seven earned) in his 10⅓ innings, he did only allow one home run. Opponents had a whopping .500 batting average on balls in play against Robertson with Los Angeles, which fueled a .370/.420/.565 line against him.
Robertson only pitched once more for the Dodgers after the loss in New York, and on July 25 was traded to the Red Sox along with right-hander and Triple-A teammate Justin Hagenman in exchange for utility man Kiké Hernández’s return to Los Angeles.
With Boston, Robertson had three stints in the majors and pitched in nine games down the stretch. Between the Dodgers and Red Sox, he posted a 6.04 ERA and 4.58 xERA in 18 games, with 26 strikeouts and nine walks in 22⅓ innings.
Stats: 9 G, 6.10 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 4 BB, 13 K, 10⅓ IP with Dodgers
Salary: $720,000, pro-rated for his time in the majors (roughly $143,226 with LA)
Game of the year
Four of Robertson’s nine games with the Dodgers were scoreless outings, but it’s hard to top his major league debut. On June 7 against the Reds, Robertson pitched two perfect innings for his longest appearance with Los Angeles, and struck out three batters. All in front of a large throng of family and friends in the stands at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Robertson was traded by the Red Sox to the Cardinals on December 8 in a deal for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.