After watching Robertson face six batters and give up six first-inning runs without recording an out in Tuesday's 7-4 loss to the Rangers, Leyland had said, "To this point, he's said that he's fine. ... I've got to look into whether everything's all right, because that's hard for me to believe."
Leyland refused to take questions or elaborate on the decision, other than to say rookie Andrew Miller will be called up to take Robertson's next scheduled start on Sunday against the New York Mets.
Robertson told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that he was frustrated by his recent run of five losses in six starts, and disturbed by the Tuesday performance he called the worst outing of his career. But he denied needing precautionary medical exams or extra rest because, "There's no red flags. I'm not hurt. I'm good."A subsequent 45-minute meeting in Leyland's office apparently left the manager unconvinced.
"It was a long conversation. It was a difficult conversation," Robertson said. "And that's as far as I'll go with that."
Robertson said he respected the decision and admitted it was "probably most beneficial to the team," based on his recent results. But he was clearly uncomfortable being labeled as hurt, and irritated he won't be eligible to pitch until June 22.
"I don't know how you diagnose 'tired arm,'" Robertson said. "I know the ball is not coming out the same [as earlier this season], but I want to go out and do my part and try to battle through it. But he's making a move and I've got to respect that. I just want to do my part for the this team, and I know I'm capable of doing it."
Robertson was 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his first six starts. But since a 3-2 victory over Baltimore on May 2, he has gone 1-5 with a 9.12 ERA in his last six starts, allowing 26 runs in 25 2/3 innings.Robertson said he would not throw for at least a couple of days and would miss at least one start, but had no idea what type of training regimen he will be placed on next.
Miller time: Replacing Robertson in Sunday's start against the Mets will be rookie left-hander Miller, the sixth overall pick from last year's draft.
This will be the third Major League stint for Miller, 22. The North Carolina product was 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in eight relief appearances last season. He then pitched six shutout innings May 18 of this year in his first career start, a 14-4 victory over St. Louis. Miller gave up four hits and three walks against the Cardinals, striking out two during a 94-pitch effort.
Miller will be recalled from Double-A Erie, where he is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA after four starts for the SeaWolves. The Tigers are expected to promote a relief pitcher to bolster their bullpen from Wednesday through Saturday, before clearing the roster spot for Miller.Rogers encouraged: Pitcher Kenny Rogers said his Dallas-based surgeon Dr. Greg Pearl was pleased to find a strong pulse near his left wrist during his Tuesday night exam. It's no joke, because Rogers said his pulse was only about 30 percent of what it should be before he underwent his March 30 surgery to relieve a blood clot and impingement in two arteries.
"He said I'm doing fine, but to listen to my body," said Rogers, who threw 37 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday afternoon. "I've got one scar that keeps pulling open, so I need to let that heal, but I feel good with where I'm at."
The doctor found nothing to change Rogers' hope to be pitching again for the Tigers by the end of June.
"I'm progressing in a way I'm comfortable with," Rogers said, "and I don't think it will be a whole lot longer."B>Target the toe: Third baseman Brandon Inge was still in the starting lineup Wednesday despite a series of close calls Tuesday when he played his first game with a fractured left big toe. Inge said the first pitch he faced from Rangers starter John Rheinecker dove right toward his injured toe. Inge aggravated the injury further by fouling two balls off his left foot. But the real teeth-clincher came in the eighth inning, when Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler stole third base and popped up out of his slide to land his cleat right on top of Inge's broken toe.
"I tried to say something, but I couldn't even get a sound out," Inge said.
How intense might the pain be if Inge were to stub his toe on a piece of hotel furniture?
"No way," he said, shaking his head. "I would just quit."
He said it: "I've tried to pitch with pain before, and it comes to a point where you just can't do it anymore. I'm not hurt. I'm good." -- Nate Robertson, about 90 minutes before being placed on the disabled list with a "tired arm"Briefly: Eight members of the Tigers' Class A West Michigan affiliate were selected to the Midwest League All-Star Game, set for June 19 in Geneva, Ill. Named to the squad were OFs Gorky Hernandez and Deik Scram, LHPs Duane Below and Chris Cody, RHPs Jeff Gerbe and Brett Jensen, 1B Ryan Streiby and C James Skelton. ... RHP Roman Colon has a 2.35 ERA through his first five rehab appearances at Triple-A Toledo. ... C Vance Wilson went 0 for 4 but scored a run Tuesday against Syracuse in his first rehab start for Toledo. Up next: LHP Mike Maroth (3-2, 5.28) is scheduled to oppose Texas RHP Kameron Loe (1-4, 6.17) in the finale of this three-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. First pitch is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. ET.
Ken Daley is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.