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Robertson aiming to earn spot as lefty reliever

Veteran enjoying spending time with dad, who's special assistant to GM

Robertson aiming to earn spot as lefty reliever

VIERA, Fla. -- Left-hander Tyler Robertson picked up his first save of the spring in the Nationals' 5-4 victory over the Mets on Friday. He was able to have a quick 1-2-3 inning in the ninth by using his breaking ball. It helped that he changed his mechanics during the offseason and reverted to the pitching style that helped him get drafted by the Twins in 2006.

"I did some stuff with my lead arm. It felt good," Robertson said. "I feel like it's more repeatable than what I've been doing. I want to incorporate that. For the first time against the hitters, I felt good. The ball was moving. Hopefully everything else falls into place."

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Robertson spent seven-plus seasons in the Twins' organization before he was claimed off waivers by the Nationals last June. Robertson doesn't have any excuses as to why he struggled with Minnesota. He plays the game with a positive attitude and is hoping to make the team as a reliever. For now, the only lefty that is guaranteed to be in the bullpen this season is Jerry Blevins.

"The Nationals have something special going on over here." Robertson said. "That's my main focus. It if doesn't happen for whatever reason, I will go down to [Triple-A] Syracuse. If I go to Syracuse, I know I have to throw well right out of the gate. You never know what can happen at any time. My goal this spring is to be 100 percent ready."

Robertson is the son of Jay Robertson, the special assistant to Washington general manager Mike Rizzo. Tyler is pleased to be on the same team as his dad. In fact, he calls Jay his biggest supporter.

"He always helps me out," Tyler said about his dad. "It's awesome being on the same team that he is involved with. This is my ninth season playing [in professional baseball]. It's always been fun being in pro ball. He always has my back and he is there to keep me sharp. It's neat being on the same team as your dad."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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