Robertson, Soriano set to share Rivera's duties

The Sports Xchange

Joe Girardi declined to name a new closer before Friday's game, saying David Robertson and Rafael Soriano would share the duties after Mariano Rivera's season ended with a knee injury Thursday.

But when the ninth inning rolled around -- albeit in a non-save situation -- Robertson was given the ball, striking out the side to preserve the Yankees' 6-2 win over the Royals.

"We're fortunate in that we believe we have two guys who are capable of doing it," Girardi said. "You're probably going to see both of them at some point. I believe we have capable arms down there. Mo is Mo; I'm not saying it's easy to replace him, but guys have to step up a little bit, given an opportunity."

Soriano has more closing experience, collecting 90 career saves to Robertson's three.

"I'll just try to concentrate ... and be ready for any situation that the manager needs me to try to win the game," Soriano said.

But Robertson, an All-Star last season for his work as Rivera's setup man, seems to be in line for more save opportunities given his blazing start. He's fanned 21 batters over 12 scoreless innings to start the season.

"Sori has a lot of experience closing games," Robertson said. "He's got a lot of saves under his belt, and I only have three. I can just go out there and do what I can do; that's really all I can say about it. When I get the opportunity, do as well as I can and try to close the ballgame out."

Both of them might just be keeping the seat warm if Rivera has anything to say about it. The all-time saves king said Friday that he would not retire due to a torn ACL and torn meniscus in his right knee.

"I'm coming back," Rivera said. "Write it down in big letters. I'm not going out like this. This has me thinking, I can't go down like this. If the good Lord gives me the opportunity to come back and do it again, that's what I want to do.

"Knowing myself and knowing what I'm capable of and know who I trust, I knew that I didn't want to leave that scene (carted off the field) like that. I don't want to be remembered like that. I have to fight back again and be ready for whatever time I have to comeback. This happened for a reason. My only concern, my only worry was letting my team down. But at the same time, I'm positive and optimistic. This is a new chapter again."

Rivera was on crutches and his right knee wrapped while he spoke to reporters. He said he would meet Monday with Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad to further evaluate the knee and schedule surgery.

"Whatever it is, is going to be fixed," Rivera said. "I've had surgery before. Surgery is surgery. I take all challenges the same. To me it's a new challenge and I have to face it."

While it is highly improbable Rivera would pitch again this season, he said, "miracles happen." Rivera reiterated he would pitch again "even if it doesn't mean this year."

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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