Having spent the past two weeks on the disabled list nursing a strained groin, New York Yankees closer David Robertson appears to be nearing his return to the active roster. For Robertson, the move – likely to take place on Tuesday – couldn’t come soon enough.
Robertson threw an inning in an extended Spring Training game Saturday morning, according to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News. He faced five batters, allowing a single and inducing three ground balls before striking out the final batter. He threw 16 pitches, 12 of which were strikes. Robertson wasn’t shy about how he felt following the outing:
I think I’m ready to go pitch. Spring Training is over. It’s time to get back in there. I felt great. My command was a little off, but I can live with it.
The team will have him simply play catch on Sunday and then he’ll take Monday off, Feinsand notes, before re-joining the Yankees on Tuesday ahead of their three game series in Boston.
Robertson, 29, entered the 2014 season with an enormous amount of pressure on his shoulders given his role as Mariano Rivera’s successor, but the Yankees have remained confident that he’s the right candidate for the job despite the fact that he’ll be a free agent at season’s end. He’d made three early appearances for the team this season prior to landing on the DL, allowing just three hits and no runs while saving a pair of games. Shawn Kelley has filled in admirably in his place for the past two weeks (4 saves, no walks, and almost a strikeout per inning), but the Yankees’ bullpen will be improved once Robertson returns to that closer role.