Robertson poised for return on Friday

Robertson poised for return on Friday

Robertson poised for return on Friday
ATLANTA -- Yankees reliever David Robertson was back with the ballclub on Wednesday, and as expected, he's likely to be activated from the disabled list in time for Friday night's series opener against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.

"If everything is OK, and unless he takes a box or something down the stairs, we should be all right," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Robertson made his second relief outing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Louisville on Tuesday in Rochester, N.Y., and threw an inning without incident, tossing 14 pitches. And he's ready to go.

"I feel really good; I'm glad to be back here," Robertson said. "I'm not on the roster today, but if everything goes well and I don't have any problems during the next day or two, I should be right back on the roster in Washington."

Robertson has been on the disabled list since May 15 with a left oblique strain. He had already pitched one clean inning -- on Sunday against Louisville -- throwing 11 pitches (eight strikes).

Robertson made a couple of appearances as the Yankees' closer after Mariano Rivera went down for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. After Robertson sustained the injury, the closer role was assumed by Rafael Soriano, who has 10 saves in 11 opportunities. Despite a blister on his right index finger, Soriano saved the Yanks' 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Braves with a perfect ninth inning on Tuesday night.

Robertson recorded one save and blew another opportunity during his short stint as Rivera's replacement. Overall, he has allowed four earned runs and whiffed 24 batters in 14 1/3 innings.

Robertson said it makes no difference to him if he comes back as the closer or in his customary eighth-inning role.

"I'm not going to talk about that," Robertson said. "I'm just here to pitch. I don't really care what I do."

Last week, Girardi said Robertson is most likely to set up Soriano when he returns.

"We're probably going to put Robbie in some situations in the eighth inning when he comes back, and then we'll just go from there," Girardi said on June 5. "Soriano has done a very good job -- whatever we've asked him to do. We feel that they're interchangeable.

"Sori has the experience down there. Let's just get Robby back and see how he's throwing the baseball, but I expect that we'll try to insert him into the eighth inning to start out."

Girardi said the Yankees probably won't make a roster move until Friday, but he said it's going to be a tough decision, considering the performance of the bullpen in the absence of the injured Robertson and Rivera, who's unlikely to return until next season after undergoing surgery to repair his ACL on Tuesday.

"I'll talk to [general manager Brian Cashman] about it," Girardi said.