The greatest closer of all-time, regular or post season, one of the last remaining faces of the New York Yankees of the 90s and the last man to wear the No. 42 is Mariano Rivera. However, Rivera’s season and career is probably over after it had been learned Thursday that Rivera will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL after injuring his knee shagging balls during pregame. With that being, said let the doors open for auditions for the vacated closer role.
There is no one on the Yankees staff that will ever fill the enormous shoes that Rivera is leaving behind. However, the Yankees do not need anyone like Rivera, what the Yankees need is consistency, something that most teams lack in their bullpen or their closer position. There are at least two players that come to mind when thinking closer and those two players happen to be Dave Robertson and Rafael Soriano.
First, Soriano was a particularly consistent closer when he pitched for the Atlanta Braves and the Tampa Bay Rays. When he was thrown into the closer position for the Braves, Soriano managed to save 27 games in 77 appearances and maintaining an ERA of 2.97. The following season with Tampa, Soriano led the league in saves with 45 while recording a 1.97 ERA. A very dominant closer indeed.
Soriano was supposed to be the filler for when Rivera retired. When he signed with the Yankees in 2011, that was the expectation. However, injuries plagued his inaugural season with the Bronx Bombers and may have kicked him out the running because his teammate Dave Robertson pitched a lot better.
Robertson got the call for the Yankees and in 2011, Robertson was dominant. In 70 games he had an ERA of 1.08 which is crazy god for a setup man getting that many appearances. As I have written before, Robertson is the go to guy for the Yankees and this is his chance.
Both men need to step up this season in a combined effort to maintain consistency in the bullpen. Get this year out of the way first then worry about who becomes full-time closer in 2013.
The Yankees have lost an icon but for now, there is not much left to do but keep on trucking.
Get the latest Mariano Rivera links here:
- Breaking: New York Yankees Closer Mariano Rivera Injured Knee During BP
- Mariano Rivera Suffers Torn ACL; Out For Season
- Report: Mariano Rivera Out for the Season with a Torn ACL