Well this is awkward. In just another of a long line of strange spring training injuries, it appears that David Robertson has sprained his foot after moving boxes in his spring training home. According to Bryan Hoch, Joe Girardi is worried about the injury:
“I’m concerned,” manager Joe Girardi said. “By the way I saw him walking today, it hurt him to walk. You assume that he’s going to be down a little bit of time even if everything comes back OK. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have time to get ready for the season, but you’ve got to start over a little bit, depending on how long he is out.”
If it takes Robertson more than a few weeks to recover than it will be unlikely that he will be on the opening day roster. This would be a significant blow to the Yankees bullpen, as Robertson is one of the most effective relievers on a pitching staff that includes Mariano Rivera. And while it’s foolish to argue that Robertson is better than the greatest closer of all time, at this stage in their careers Robertson might have been the better pitcher.
Armed with a 93 MPH fastball, Robertson simply dominated hitters in 2011. In 66 2/3 innings he struck out 100 batters while walking 35, making him a modern day Ricky Vaughn as Robertson succeeds by being effectively wild. Robertson also went 4-0 with one save and a 1.08 ERA. As amazing as Rivera is, even he never posted an ERA that low.
While the Yankees have an incredibly deep bullpen, the loss of Robertson for a short period of time will make it tougher on the pitching staff. Luckily the Yankees improved their rotation, and the additions of Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda should help put less strain on the pen. Hopefully Robertson isn’t out for a long period of time, as he’s simply a fantastic pitcher.