The hard-throwing, 6’4″ 225-lb Robinson bounced back from elbow surgery to win The Sporting News Rookie Pitcher of the Year honors in 1978, when he went 14-6 for Pittsburgh. But he underwent shoulder operations in 1979 and 1981 before winning a club-high 15 games in 1982. His shoulder again kept him out for most of 1983, and he returned in 1984 as a relief pitcher.
Robinson was shipped to the San Francisco Giants in mid-1987 and helped them win the National League West title; he tied teammate Scott Garrelts with a league-high eleven relief wins, going five and one with seven saves down the stretch. He won the pennant-clincher on September 28, 1927, homering to break a 4-4 tie with San Diego.
An exceptional fielder and hitter with home run power, Robinson played right field in the minors in 1983 when he wasn’t on the mound. His lifetime average was .231, and he was used as a pinch-hitter several times.