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Soriano returns from injury, improves Yankees' bullpen

The Sports Xchange

Rafael Soriano returned from the disabled list on Friday, adding a potentially dangerous arm to the Yankees' bullpen for the final two months of the regular season.

Soriano, out since May 14 with right elbow inflammation, made four minor-league rehab appearances, combining to allow four runs in 4 1/3 innings with Class A Tampa and Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

"The main thing for me was going to the minor leagues and making sure I didn't have any pain," Soriano said through an interpreter. "I wasn't concerned about location or strikes, because the problem was pain."

Although Soriano was the Yankees' eighth-inning setup man before his injury, the $35 million reliever will be eased back into the mix slowly according to manager Joe Girardi.

"I'm ready to go in any inning Joe needs me," Soriano said. "Seventh, eighth, whatever he wants me to do, I'll be ready to do it. I don't think it's going to be a problem."

David Robertson, who has been one of the best setup men in the game since Soriano and Joba Chamberlain landed on the DL, said he's open to whatever Girardi ultimately chooses to do.

"If it stays the way it is, it stays the way it is; if it changes, it changes," Robertson said. "I'm not going to worry about it. We're all going to get enough outings that I'm sure we'll all mix around into different roles. I'll be prepared come the sixth, seventh and eighth, ready to go."

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