Reintroducing Joe Girardi's Binder Could Be Key to Yankees Bullpen

Kate ConroySenior Analyst IIMay 13, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 23:  Manager Joe Girardi at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the devastating loss of Mariano Rivera now sinking in, which not only physically but also mentally handicaps the Yankees, skipper Joe Girardi’s job just got much harder.

The good ol' comfort of the ninth inning now feels more like a Sergio Mitre start, and no one knows this better than pitcher David Robertson.

In time, everyone figured Robertson to be Mo’s successor, but not now and not like this.

When you consider all the Yankees' recent history of screwing up young pitchers by pushing them too hard into uncomfortable roles, it makes you stop and think again.

 

Why the hell would the Yankees put all the weight on Robertson to fill Mo’s shoes when the timing isn’t right?

Robertson was invaluable to the Yankees last year, and he got an All-Star nod to prove it. His 1.08 ERA, one homer and eight earned runs in over 66 innings pitched made Robertson the best reliever in the bigs.

Just think about it….Robertson earned the nickname Houdini because he is an escape artist. He thrives when runners are already on bases, as that is where he always got the big strikeouts.

 

So, could this be the reason that Robertson blew his second save vs. the Rays?

Robertson came in at the top of the ninth, gave up a homer, a single and allowed four runs to score, which blew the Yankees' 1-0 lead and the game—a fake version of the infamous Girardi binder game.

 

Fast-forward to Saturday night’s 6-2 win over the Mariners.

Boone Logan started the ninth inning and struck out one but then gave up a hit.

So, that is when Girardi tapped Robertson to come in with Logan’s inherited runner on base. The runner was still Logan’s responsibility stat-wise, but mentally that is the situation Robertson flourishes in.

Look, I am not saying that Robertson’s talent cannot be used to take over for Mo, but only when the time is right.

Rivera will be back, and that is when Robertson can ease his way into the closing role. But for now, use the guy who had 45 saves in 2010 named Rafael Soriano to close games when the bases are empty. Throw Logan in for four outs like Saturday night and use Robertson when Houdini is needed.

Mourning over Mo’s absence any longer does no good for anybody, as no matter how sad an entire city might be, he is not coming back in 2012. And if Girardi hands the ball to Robertson, like he used to with Mo, life will be a lot harder.

This is the time to stick with what works and who has has had proven success.

The Yankees must stop reverting to tactics that have failed in regards to how they groom young, promising pitchers. It is time to learn from past mistakes, and not always do everything by the book because that is the way it is supposed to be done.

Heck….this is the perfect time to for Girardi to reintroduce his infamous binder as I would be elated for it to rear its ugly head again just for this exceptional situation.