CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – Sunday, June 4th may have been Daniel Robertson’s swan song as a Cleveland Indian. He can leave knowing he had an impact on a championship contender.
Robertson’s departure is not imminent, though Lonnie Chisenhall’s impending return should all but spell the end of the 31-year old’s current tour of duty with the big league club. Without the outfielder’s contributions before an almost two-hour rain delay in Kansas City, it may had been a different game on the other side.
When things dried up, the man short in stature came up big again, complimenting his two-RBI double in the 2nd with another RBI base hit.
When Robertson arrived to the club in the middle of May, Manager Terry Francona said his presence was about energy. The numbers were not expected to be gaudy, but with his fourth team in as many seasons in the big leagues, the sparkplug gave his guys energy in perhaps his last game with them.
“He definitely gave us a spark, he was in the middle of everything,” Francona said. “We jump out to get four, then the rain comes.”
Robertson embraces his role, which you can see simply by looking at his twitter profile, @DanielRob99, which reads “be yourself because everyone else is already taken, followed by “SPARKPLUG 99.”
He has said that he does not make a concerted effort to bring the unquantifiable “energy,” but rather a winning attitude that spreads.
“It’s about making sure that one-through-nine, the pitching staff, the guys that are coming in and helping; they all got their mindset right. That’s the most important thing. Because at the end of the day, you need all 25 guys to win. We’ve all got to come together.”
If it was Robertson’s Indians finale, he leaves the team in a better spot than he found them, and also with a positive defensive WAR despite being that replacement player the statistic compares to. He would finish 9-for-42 with two doubles, a triple, and four RBI in 15 games.
Roberto Perez, with his new contract, will continue to be a Cleveland Indians backstop after Sunday’s win, but it may never be for his offense.
Like Robertson, Perez may have saved the Indians some stress by opening scoring with a two-RBI double in the 2nd, just before his teammate. He also drew a walk later in the game.
The momentum-securing double ended a 2-for-39 stretch for Perez dating back to April 30th.
“He’s been catching so well,” Francona added. “For our team…you want to see the guy have a little bit of success because it has been a tough 50, 60 at-bats for him.”
Perez now sits at a 9-for-72 mark on the season, with eight RBI. Five of those hits have now come with runners in scoring position, accounting for all of his runs batted in.