Robinson was the Reds first round draft pick in the 1980 free-agent draft, and he reached the ML for good in 1985, winning seven games while splitting his time between the starting rotation and the bullpen. He was a reliever exclusively in 1986, making 70 appearances, but by 1988 had returned to the starting rotation.
On May 2 of that year, he was within one strike of a perfect game when Expos pinch hitter Wallace Johnson singled. Tim Raines then homered, and Robinson needed relief help. He missed half of 1989 with an elbow injury.
On June 9, 1990, Robinson was traded along with Bob Sebra to the Milwaukee Brewers for Glenn Braggs and Billy Bates.