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Yankees 'absolutely' considering playing Mariano Rivera in center

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Mariano Rivera could end his career as an outfielder, not a closer.
Mariano Rivera could end his career as an outfielder, not a closer. (USATSI)

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With his career coming to a close, it's possible we may see Mariano Rivera somewhere other than on the mound. Manager Joe Girardi said Thursday he is "absolutely" considering letting his closer play an inning in center field during the team's final series this weekend.

Rivera, 43, has been shagging fly balls during batting practice his entire career. Those around him claim he's the best athlete on the team and can run down fly balls with the best of them. Rivera suffered a season-ending knee injury taking a misstep in the outfield during batting practice last May.

Girardi confirmed Rivera will pitch regardless of score Thursday night, the team's final home game of the season. He will not play center field, however, because the game is meaningful to the Rays and the Yankees want to respect the pennant race.

New York opens a three-game series with the Astros in Houston on Friday. Those games are not meaningful to either team.

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