The Indians have designated Jeriome Robertson for reassignment today after his ERA rose to 12.21 for the season. As if that weren't enough opponents are batting .349 against him with five homers, and he has a 2.21 WHIP, a 3.86 strikeouts per nine innings, and a 0.67 strikeouts-to-walk ratio in his scant 14 innings of work. He has given up thirteen runs in his last three appearances comprising 4.1 total innings.
Last year, Robertson, then on the Astros, led all rookies with 15 wins despite a 5.10 ERA, which was 13% worse than the park-adjusted league average. After signing both Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, Robertson became expendable. The 'Stros then shipped him to the Indians for minor-leaguers Luke Scott and Willy Taveras.
Robertson was supposed to become a staple of the Indians rotation. He started the season in the minors and didn't make a start in his eight appearances. He also stunk up the minors with a 4-5 record and a 7.27 ERA in 14 appearances at Buffalo. He also gave up 91 hits, 10 home runs, and 22 walks in 64-1/3 innings. Ouch!
Unless someone expresses interest in Robertson, he may get released and at best he will no longer be on the Indians' 40-man roster even if they keep him in the organization. Given his recent problems and the fact that the only real item in his resume that could recommend him to another team is winning 15 last year, which may be enough. However, it seems likely that this is the end of the line for Robertson.
That made me wonder how often a player had won 15 games and then never won more than one game (his total in 2004) over the rest of his career. It was actually done quite often in the nineteenth century when teams often had only one or two starters and they could quickly fall into disfavor and out of the league. Some of those were even quite well known: A.G. Spalding, George Van Haltren, Adonis Terry, and Hall-of-Famer Amos Rusie. There were 23 such nineteenth-century pitchers. However, it's just been done three times since 1934. Here are all of the pitchers from 1900 until today that fit the Robertson model: