Victor Robles can't stop, won't stop getting plunked

Brian Tinsman
May 27, 2019 - 1:48 am

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


The Washington Nationals won all three games this weekend. Each game was punctuated with Victor Robles getting hit by a pitch.

That would be newsworthy, except that it happens all the time.

His three this weekend brought him up to nine this season, which is only a little short of his 12 walks on the season, which pads his .322 on-base percentage.

Then there was this factoid, shared by MASN's Dan Kolko:

In other words, Robles reliably gets hit about once per week by some of the best and hardest-throwing pitchers in the world. That doesn't seem like a long-term, sustainable strategy.

It should be noted that many of those hits by pitch happened in the minor leagues, where pitchers tend to be more erratic. But even in 86 career Major League games, Robles has taken 13 hits to the body, including this one:

Also this weekend, Robles took a 96-mph fastball that grazed his chin while squaring to punt. That could be life-altering, to say nothing of his career.

Perhaps the strangest part in all of this is that Robles sees no particular reason to change his approach.

"I’ve always said that a pitch that hits me is not going to change my aggressiveness in how I play the game and how I go about it," he told the media, via interpreter Octavio Martinez. "I leave everything in God’s hands, and whatever happens, happens. But I’m not going to change the way I play."

At this rate, over the course of a 162-game season, he can be expected to be hit approximately 25 times. That would have been enough to lead the National League for HBP in eight of the last 10 years. 

At that rate, Robles could break the MLB record for career HBP in 12 years, set by Hughie Jennings (287) nearly 100 years ago. That is, if his pursuit of the record does not break him first.

In case you were curious, two other Nationals have also co-led the NL in HBP: Jose Guillen (19) in 2005 and Danny Espinosa (19) in 2011.

If nothing else, Robles should be able to negotiate an endorsement deal for padding equipment.


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