Jul 27, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson (30) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. The Rays defeated the Yankees 1-0. (Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Steinbrenner: "Robertson Is Going To Be Our Closer"

Today, the New York Yankees received what they believe to be one of their pieces for the starting rotation in Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees have other needs to fill, but some of those needs are likely to be filled internally. This includes the void left at the closer spot due to the retirement of Mariano Rivera.

In an article written by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Hal Steinbrenner said for the first time publicly that David Robertson will be the closer when the 2014 season begins. According to Steinbrenner:

“Robertson is going to be our closer, and I believe he will do a good job. We have done a lot to improve our team and we just have to understand that you cannot be perfect everywhere.”

There are plenty of closers out there on the market, including Grant Balfour, but the Yankees seem to think that Robertson is ready to take over the role.  The article mentions J.J. Putz and Huston Street as possible trade options. Last year, Robertson had his best season in terms of ERA (2.04) and WHIP (1.040). The Yankees can also be flexible in terms of finding players in free agency who can help fill out the rest of the bullpen, including the possibility of signing a closer to be their 8th inning man.

Yes, Robertson has been dominant as the set-up man, but the Yankees feel that his stuff, including his devastating curveball can lead to success in the 9th inning. Most people point to the week in 2012 where Robertson blew three saves before Rafael Soriano took the job. You have to remember that he didn’t have time to prepare for the role after the sudden shock that Rivera’s season was done due to a torn ACL. At the very least, the Yankees want to see what D-Rob can do in a larger sample size.

Robertson has spent the offseason preparing for the closer role and time to prepare could be a good thing for the Yankees in this case. It definitely won’t be “Enter Sandman”, but Sweet Home Alabama could be the new mantra that makes Yankees’ fans feel somewhat relieved at the end of the games. This is as long as Robertson’s Houdini Act is toned down to a degree.

The first glimpse of Robertson closing will come in the spring. Get your New York Yankees spring training tickets here.

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Tags: David Robertson Hal Steinbrenner Mariano Rivera New York Yankees News

  • JoeDaBeast

    Look forward to Robinson taking over the reigns and hopefully Mariano has helped and will continue to help him in the transition of his career.

    • Jim Harper

      Joe, it is Robertson, not Robinson. I have much confidence in him and know that Mariano coached him up a lot.

  • Thomas Katona

    Hal you can’t force a pitcher like Robertson to close. He don’t have it in him.

  • arth65456

    I think to Joe’s point that Robertson being mentored by Rivera could help him in the long run. We at least have to see Robertson given more chances to close before determining if he can fill the role or not.

  • Jim Harper

    “Sweet Home Alabama” would be the perfect song for him to come in on. He was born in Birmingham and played his college ball for the Crimson Tide. The could even put up “Roll Tide” on the screen every time he strikes someone out.