For years Yankees fans have feared what life would be like once Mariano Rivera wasn’t around any longer and even though he vowed that he would comeback, Rivera is gone now and the Yankees are fortunate to have two very solid options to replace him – David Robertson and Rafael Soriano.
One has become one of the top relievers in the game since last season and the other came to the Yankees with some great experience as a closer. So who to choose? As far as Yankees manager Joe Girardi is concerned, he is going with both.
“We’re fortunate in that we believe we have two guys who are capable of doing it,” Girardi told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “You look at what Robertson’s done, he deserves an opportunity to do it. You look at Soriano’s career — what’d he have, 45 saves a couple years ago? We’ll make a decision each day.
“You’re probably going to see both of them at some point. I believe we have capable arms down there. Mo is Mo; I’m not saying it’s easy to replace him, but guys have to step up a little bit, given an opportunity.”
The two closer committee won’t last long though. Girardi said he eventually will narrow it down to one set guy.
“Would I like to have one set closer? Yes,” Girardi said. “We’re going to try to get to that. We’ve got to see how it irons out now. … I can guarantee you’re going to see them, probably both, in the eighth and ninth.”
Even though it seems obvious that D-Rob will eventually grab the role, he has been much more consistent than Soriano after all, it isn’t necessary the only option. Soriano has said in the past that he is more comfortable in the 9th inning role. Robertson has also been amazing at coming in mid-inning to bail the last pitcher out of trouble. It seems that on some level he is actually better with guys on base.
So perhaps it might be best to have Soriano in the role he is more comfortable in while saving Robertson for the real trouble spots. D-Rob pitched the 9th inning in the first Rivera-less game though so it is easy to see which way they are leaning though.