Hansel Robles Has Been Overworked
Last year, Hansel Robles found himself situtated in the back end of the Mets bullpen with Terry Collins never fully trusting him during the course of the entire season. That was never more evidenced than when Collins only used Robles when he absolutely had to during the 2015 postseason.
In 2015, Robles made a total of 57 appearances for the Mets pitching 54.0 innings. In the minors, he pitched in five more games pitching an additional 7.2 innings. In total, Robles made 62 total appearances throwing 61.2 innings during the regular season. This year, Robles has already made 56 appearances throwing a total of 63.o innings. With a month left to go in the season, Robles has already thrown more innings than he did last year. That’s not the only sign that Robles has been overworked this year.
Last year, Robles pitched in back-to-back games 15 times, one day of rest 18 times, and two days of rest nine times. This year, Robles has already pitched in back-to-back games 10 times, one day of rest 17 times, and two days of rest 20 times. In essence, Robles has been getting far less of an extended break between appearances to rest up than he did last season. Unfortunately, there’s still more to Robles being overworked.
Throughout the entire 2015 season, Robles threw 892 pitches. He had thrown 30 or more pitches in three separate appearances. This year, Robles has thrown 1,149 pitches. Moreover, he has thrown 30 or more pitches in 11 appearances. This includes appearances in which Robles has thrown 52, 41, and 65 pitches. In a stretch of six days ranging from June 19th to June 24th, Robles made three appearances throwing 127 pitches. After any game Robles threw 30+ pitches, he averaged two days of rest. That number is skewed as he once received five days of rest. Typically, Robles has received 0-2 days of rest between 30 pitch performances. Last year, he never threw more than 38 pitches in an appearance. When he made that appearance last year, he was given three days of rest.
Additionally, in 2015, Robles pitched more than an inning only eight times. In five of those appearances over one inning, he went two innings four times, and three innings once. This year, he has already thrown more than an inning 11 times with Robles going at least two innings in 10 of those appearances. Furthermore, Robles has gone over two innings four times, and he has pitched three innings or more on three separate occasions.
Seeing how Robles has been used, it should come as no surprise that he has seen a dip in velocity. According to Brooks Baseball, Robles threw a 96.33 MPH four seamer, 89.74 MPH change, and an 88.25 MPH slider. This year, his velocity is down, but most notably his slider’s velocity is down. Robles has been throwing a 95.91 MPH fastball, an 89.00 MPH changeup, and an 84.94 MPH slider.
Overall, no matter where you look, Robles has been overworked, and recently he has been showing the effects of an increased and trying workload. Robles has gone from a 2.98 ERA, 1.370 WHIP, and an 11.1 K/9 in the first half of the season to a 6.53 ERA, 1.548 WHIP, and a 7.8 K/9 so far in the second half.
Overall, the question shouldn’t be why Robles has suddenly gotten much worse. The real question is whether the Mets can balance finding time for both he and Jacob deGrom to rest in order to allow them to get back to being the pitcher they truly are while also being able to stay in the pennant race. Ultimately, the Mets are going to have to find a way because an overworked Robles is not helping them.