Report: Soriano will remain closer when Robertson returns

Yanks can't finish off Tigers, lose on a walk-off
2012 Draft: Lucas Sims

Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees intend to keep Rafael Soriano in the closer role even after David Robertson returns from his oblique strain in (hopefully) two weeks. I’m a fan of the move, I’ve wanted Soriano to close ever since Mariano Rivera got hurt. It frees up Robertson to be used a little more liberally in the seventh and eighth rather than be married to one specific inning late in the game. Soriano will make you sweat a bit but that’s unavoidable, he’s done the job these last few weeks and actually looks comfortable for the first time in pinstripes.

Yanks can't finish off Tigers, lose on a walk-off
2012 Draft: Lucas Sims
  • Typical MIT Nerd

    “It frees up Robertson to be used a little more liberally in the seventh and eighth rather than be married to one specific inning late in the game. ”

    What are the chances of that?

    If you’re going to analyze this move, at least be honest with yourself. Robertson becomes the 8th inning guy only.

    Boooo. He’s better than Soriano. He’s just not paid as much…

    • Kosmo

      it´s a valid point. Robertson could just as well come into a 7th inning jam, 2 out situation to record the final out of the inning and then pitch the 8th.

      • Gonzo

        I’m not sure I can answer this question. If DRob was the closer, would they have used him in a 2 out 8th inning jam to record the final out then continue to use him to close it out in the 9th?

        I guess reliever usage is funny business.

    • jjyank

      I don’t think it will be THAT liberal, but I can easily see Robertson getting 1-2 outs int he 7th and then pitching the 8th. And the chances of that happening are probably better than if Robertson was the official closer.

    • Guns of Navarone

      + 1

      I’m not sure everyone remembers who the manager of this team is.

      “Robbie is our 8th inning guy” – Joe Girardi

  • RI$P FTW


  • Steve S.

    I’m a fan of the move too, for the reasons Mike mentioned. But that last line about being comfortable feeds into a narrative I find silly.

    Placid faced Soriano in the 7th inning-Looks disinterested. Obviously unhappy with his role.

    Placid faced Soriano the Closer-Cool under pressure. Doesn’t seem bothered by all the pressure of being .

    Any chance Soriano is the same guy, and its just our perception of him that changes?

  • Arya

    We need Robertson back. He should have been in that ballgame last night. Not Wade, not Phelps. We lost the ballgame because the bullpen blew it.

    • jjyank

      We also lost it because they couldn’t score more than 3 runs, despite having the bases loaded in the 9th.

      Having Robertson back will be very helpful, but it’s not like the bullpen has been bad in his absence.

    • Smart Guy

      are we watching the same games? cause I could of swore that we were handed the game in our hands and the hitters just decided to be too nice and say hey now thats not how we play the game we want to beat you fair and square not be handed the game .

      As for the move , hallelujah! i stated that the best move was to place Soriano as the closer , not only because i find silly that a guy needs to be The closer but because maybe it placed fire under sorianos buttox so he would come back to a dominant reliever, also because its better to drive his price up and ship him!

  • yoo-boo

    I like the idea of Robertson not closing a game. Since Rivera has yet to have a surgery I get feeling that Rivera wont be ready for 2013 at all. In that case, I expect Soriano is our closer for 2 years as Aardasma (sp?) and Robertson will do the job protecting a lead between starters and the closer after 2012 All Star game.

    • Jonathan

      You do realize that Gallardo was back on the mound as a starter in 5 months after he tore his Acl right? It won’t take Rivera long to get his arm ready. Acl rehab takes a year for athletes that need to cut and jump etc. if not for the blood clot it was possible he was coming back this year. Barring something very unforeseen there is zero reason to think he won’t be ready next year.

      • yoo-boo

        Aging and kind of injury are different between Gallardo and Rivera.

        Gallardo was 22 years old and tore his only ACL. Rivera is 42 years old and tore both ACL and MCL. Rivera has yet to have a surgery to remove the blood clot. Surely, it is plenty of time but I play it for the worst possibility in order to keep expectation as lowest as possible.

        • Jonathan

          The MCL repairs itself and takes less time than the ACL to heal so it won’t even be a factor for his timetable. The age is the biggest concern for me but missing 2 years with an ACL as a pitcher would be unheard of. The age is in favor of Gallardo but the difference between a starter and reliever is a huge difference. Especially since we know that Mo needs such little time to get his arm ready at the start of the year.

          • Smart Guy

            hey why dont you go back to med school and let us baseball nerds in peace.

            Just for your information MO has an ACLH% of 35.4 during his career and when you factor (ACL * 9IP / Pitches thrown) + Healing power * Divine intervention you calculate the ACL Healing WAR which is 7.3

            therefore MO will be dependent on weather and mound wOBA

    • Jonathan

      Next years bullpen is likely to have Mo, Robertson, Soriano, Joba, Wade, Logan, Aardsma and Hughes at some point. I pray Hughes is out of the rotation if this garbage continues, Pineda comes back, we sign Greinke or Hamels and the rotation is: CC/Greinke or Hamels/ Pineda/Nova/ and possibly Kuroda or Andy and if Andy retires or Kuroda wants too much money or isn’t pitching well perhaps Banuelos or Phelps.

  • Billion$Bullpen

    Leaving Soriano is a $ saving move. Sori does well and opts out, saving the Yanks $. Robertson does not get saves and this saves the Yanks $ as they do not have to pay him as a closer.

    If Mo comes back Mo has to take a healthy pay cut.

    It looks like the Yankees are finally about to start working within a real budget. I just hope we do not become the Budget Yankees. I am all for making smart moves that save money and create roster flex.

    • jjyank

      “Leaving Soriano is a $ saving move. Sori does well and opts out, saving the Yanks $.”

      I agree that this is definitely the icing on the cake. Soriano is more likely to opt out if he has a bunch of saves to cash in on. Not saying he will definitely opt out, $14 mil for one year is a lot to walk away from, but I do think it is much more likely if he is the closer.

  • yoo-boo

    Soriano is 32-33 years old now. What kind of deal will strike him a richer contract than his next year’s 14m?

    • Ed

      He almost certainly won’t find another $14m/year deal, but he’s got a decent chance of getting a multi-year deal that would guarantee more than that. I’m not sure I’d bet on him getting it, but then again I would’ve bet against him getting this deal.

      He’s a reliever with a significant injury history who’s entering the decline phase of his career. It’s at least worth considering giving up some money next year in exchange for a larger guarantee.

  • JonS

    Hopefully Soriano is awesome in the closet role and opts out of his contract. That would be perfect. Lol

    • JonS

      Heh closer role. We’ll leave his personal life alone. Lol