"He had a real good spring for us," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Robinson. "He can help us in a lot of ways. He can pinch-run, pinch-hit, he's a switch-hitter, an outstanding outfielder and can give [Shin-Soo] Choo a breather in center some time. This guy is a true center fielder, a very good player and a very good outfielder. We need some speed."
Robinson, 25, batted .300 in 22 spring games after being signed in the offseason as a Minor League free agent. Although given little chance of making the Reds' 25-man roster out of Spring Training, he became the latest example of how opportunities can present themselves by doing all the right things in camp.
"Everything I did, I focused and made sure that I didn't give away an at-bat, or be lackadaisical in the outfield, or fall asleep on the basepaths. I gave it my all," said Robinson, who batted .258 in 116 games last season for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate in Omaha. "I gave it all I had. I gave it a good showing. Apparently, it worked out. I hate to see Ludwick go down like that. But I guess that's just how the game goes."
As luck would have it, Robinson had his parents in attendance at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday as the Reds played the Angels.
"My family came to Louisville," he said. "They followed me up this morning."
Robinson and fellow non-roster outfielder Denis Phipps were among the final cuts in camp. Robinson impressed Baker, and his name rose to the top among other considerations that included Phipps and a player on the 40-man roster in Donald Lutz.
"We thought about Big Lutz, but he still needs to play in Double-A," Baker said. "He's coming on, but is he ready right now? We don't think so.
"I know a lot of people want [Billy] Hamilton, but Hamilton has a lot to learn. We don't know how he's going to do at Triple-A first. Through the process of elimination, [Robinson is] the guy that looked like one of the best and the guy that we thought could help us."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.