David Robertson could be the savior for the Yankees bullpen

When Mariano Rivera first came up through the minor league system and joined the Yankees, he started as a setup man for John Wetland. With Mariano getting older, the Yankees have tried to take the same philosophy several times. It hasn’t worked out for Joba Chamberlain or Rafael Soriano.

When Mariano Rivera went down yesterday while shagging fly balls, some people were sent into panic. The best closer of all time was out for the season and possibly his career. Even though Mo has now said he’ll come back next year, it looks like he has even less time than he did before. And the Yankees need a replacement for him this year.

That’s where David Robertson comes in.

The casual baseball fan has probably never heard of David Robertson, even though he was an All Star in 2011. He got his shot last year when Joba Chamberlain required Tommy John surgery, and in his place he excelled. As the 8th inning setup man, Robertson had a 1.08 ERA in 63 innings pitched. He also had 100 strikeouts.

With such an amazing 2011 season, there was no doubt that Robertson would be the 8th inning setup man in 2012. So far in the season, Robertson has pitched 11 innings with 18 strikeouts and hasn’t given up a single run. Of course nobody thought Mariano would go down, but in the case it’s obvious that the Yankees have their guy that will be a good closer in the interim.

The Yankees are going to need Robertson to be like Mariano, and I’m pretty confident he’ll be a great closer. He’s not quite ready to replace Rivera yet though. “I’m not Mariano Rivera, I’m not going to be able to go out there and do what he does, get outs real quickly, I’m a different style pitcher,” Robertson said. “I’ve never done it, so all I can do is say I’ll try real hard.”

While he may not be Mariano, the Yankees have their savior in the bullpen in David Robertson and I don’t expect them to miss a beat.

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