Infielder Daniel Robertson returns to Rays looking to reset his season

Mired in season-long slump, Robertson said a few days away helped him clear his head.
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Daniel Robertson (28) singles during the fifth inning of a game against the Angels on June 13, 2019, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Daniel Robertson (28) singles during the fifth inning of a game against the Angels on June 13, 2019, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (MONICA HERNDON | Times)
Published June 19

NEW YORK — Infielder Daniel Robertson returned to the big leagues Wednesday, just four days after the Rays optioned him to Triple-A Durham.

Because Robertson’s recall was part of a corresponding injury move — the Rays placed infielder Yandy Diaz on the IL with a hamstring injury — he didn’t have to serve the mandatory 10 days in the minors after being optioned.

In fact, Robertson never had the opportunity to play for Durham, but said getting a rest allowed him to get the mental reset he needed after going through a season-long slump.

"It was a great time to just kind of reflect and take a step back and just kind of analyzing everything, and with that being said, just looking forward to getting out there and having fun again."

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When Robertson was optioned Saturday, he was hitting just .205 (47 points lower than last year’s average) with a .594 OPS (203 points lower than last season). And he said as his season spiraled, he became more frustrated and hopes the time away will help him.

“I’m tired of putting pressure on myself to get back to my expectations and hope you see a lot of smiling and enjoyment out of me moving forward,” Robertson said. “I’m looking forward to getting back and enjoying the game again.”

"A lot of times you can let the business side of stuff step in," Robertson added. "And it really does take the enjoyment out of the game and you're just searching every day for something mechanically, something this or that, and at the end of the day, you've just got to come in and check yourself."

Robertson has seen success against lefties (a .278/.373/.361 slash line compared to .154/.267/.231 against right-handers) and he was immediately in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s series finale in New York, starting at third base and batting ninth against Yankees lefty CC Sabathia.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.


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