BRONX, NY – As the ninth inning began with the New York Yankees up by two runs during Monday’s home opener, fans expected to see new closer Dave Robertson. Instead, Shawn Kelley entered the game and recorded a nine-pitch save.
It would soon be revealed that Robertson didn’t pitch because he is not healthy enough to do so. Manager Joe Girardi told reporters after Monday’s 4-2 victory that his closer is being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 1 groin strain.
Robertson was apparently injured on Sunday, but did not say anything to Girardi until the groin was still bothering him during Monday’s pregame. While Robertson is sidelined, Girardi insists he will use a “closer by committee,” but it seems likely that Kelley will see a good portion of the opportunities.
In his first season taking over the ninth-inning role from retired legend Mariano Rivera, Robertson has found early success, recording a pair of saves in his first two opportunities. Robertson indicated to reporters after Monday’s game that he believed he would be back in the minimum 15 days.
No corresponding move has been announced, though it seems likely that Preston Claiborne or Cesar Cabral will be on their way to New York from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre very shortly.