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Robertson has the unenviable task of trying to fill the shoes of Mariano Rivera
Of all the changes that the New York Yankees will have in 2014, none may be felt more than that of the closer role.
With the exception of 2012, since 1997, the Yankees have known but one man whose presence on the field signified near certain victory.
Mariano Rivera retired at the end of 2013 as MLB's greatest relief pitcher. In 15 of 19 big league seasons, "Mo" had 30 or more saves. Even more impressive was his postseason performances. Over 16 Octobers and Novembers, Rivera had 42 saves and a microscopic 0.70 ERA.
Since 2009, David Robertson has been the eighth inning setup to Rivera's success. Over that time, Robertson has been nearly as sure a thing as Rivera. Last season, he had a stellar 2.04 ERA and 1.040 WHIP.
Now, the mantle has been passed, and "D-Rob" will be asked to seal victories.
No one may ever duplicate the consistent success that Rivera had, and it would be unrealistic to ask a pitcher to do so. Even so, the Yankees will expect Robertson to translate his eighth inning holds into ninth inning saves.
General Manager Brian Cashman isn't sure that the 28-year-old Robertson can handle a closer role, and it has been rumored that the Yankees are scouring the free-agent market for other stoppers.
Robertson, for his part, believes he can follow Rivera with success (as he should).
As a favorite among the Yankees fans, he'll have a lot of people hoping he can.