It is unrealistic to expect David Robertson to be Mariano Rivera. It is realistic, however, to have high expectations for the 28-year-old former All-Star. Robertson has the experience and talent needed to be a successful closer in MLB. When Rivera missed most of the 2012 season with an knee injury, Robertson stepped in and pitched well. He will need to do that again now that Mo has retired.
In 2011, Robertson recorded a 1.08 ERA, lower than Rivera ever recorded during his 19 seasons in pinstripes. Last season, Robertson posted a 2.04 ERA, which is lower than Rivera’s 2.21 career average. The New York Yankees need a reliable arm to close out games, something Robertson has proven he can do in recent years.
Fans of the Yankees have been spoiled since Rivera became the closer in the Bronx. Searching for a closer is not something the Yankees organization is accustomed to doing. Hal Steinbrenner and the rest of the front office won’t have to look far, however. In Robertson, the Yankees have a fairly young arm that has already experienced what it is like to be the closer in New York.
The Yankees had another viable closer in Rafael Soriano, but refused to re-sign him after the 2012 season. That leaves Robertson as the only proven closer on the Yankees’ roster. By no means is Robertson is going to be the Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher that Rivera was over the course of two decades. However, Robertson does have the potential and the opportunity to make Yankees fans not miss Mo too much.