The announcement that Mariano Rivera was going to retire after this season for the New York Yankees should have sent shockwaves throughout the Big Apple. Rivera has been the closer for the Yankees for the last 15 years and now the team needs to find a new closer beginning next season. There is a very obvious choice already on the roster, but I’m a bit leery about their ability to do the job full-time in David Robertson.
Robertson pitched in 65 games last season with a 2.67 ERA and two saves while filling in for the injured Rivera. He was 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 2011 with 100 strikeouts but here’s where my problem comes in with Robertson. There are just some pitchers who are better as setup men than closers and I think he fits that profile. While Robertson has had two straight solid seasons, the three previous years showed a pitcher that would give up runs and a lot of hits. That can’t happen in a closer’s role with the game on the line.
Robertson will be 29 years old right around the beginning of the 2014 season. If he can be great again this season, my opinion will change about whether he can do this job. Right now though, Robertson isn’t the man who should be looked at to be the closer. If I was picking my closer today, I would take Joba Chamberlain over Robertson. Chamberlain has had injury issues but I think has the better makeup for the job. I know that won’t make fans of the Yankees happy to hear, but Robertson should be the eighth inning guy for the next five to seven years instead of the closer.