Yankees manager Joe Girardi had previously hinted that he might keep Rafael Soriano in the closer’s role even after David Robertson retuns from the DL, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has reported that “people familiar with (the Yankees) thinking suggest” that is exactly what they will do.
Robertson was the Yankees first choice to replace Mariano Rivera following Mo’s torn ACL, but D-Rob quickly landed on the DL himself with a strained oblique. Since then, Soriano has thrived in the closers role and has racked up seven saves while lowering his ERA to 1.89.
Personally, I don’t see this as a big deal either way. D-Rob did look somewhat uncomfortable in the 9th inning, even if he will likely settle down, while Soriano appears to be every bit the pitcher the Yankees overpaid for and has experience in that role. Keeping Soriano the closer allows Girardi to actually use the better reliever, D-Rob, as the situation dictates rather than wait until he can earn a save.
On the injury front, D-Rob threw his first bullpen since the injury on Saturday, according to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger. He’ll probably throw at least two more bullpen sessions and maybe play in a few rehab games and could be back in the Bronx in about 10 days.