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Mariano Rivera’s replacement’s replacement? Joe Girardi has no idea

Apr 8, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT

David Robertson AP

David Robertson was the easy choice to replace Mariano Rivera as the Yankees’ closer, but now that Robertson is out with a groin injury manager Joe Girardi isn’t sure who’ll be taking over ninth-inning duties.

Asked this morning who’ll serve as the Yankees’ closer, Girardi told Danny Knobler of ESPN New York: “That’s a great question.”

Shawn Kelley might get first crack at the job, although for today’s game at least he’s unavailable. And he’s also a 30-year-old with a 3.70 lifetime ERA who picked up his first career save … yesterday.

Left-hander Matt Thornton has the most closing experience among the available candidates, which also includes Adam Warren, David Phelps, and Dellin Betances. Not a lot of inspiring options, although the hope is that Robertson can return from the disabled list in a couple weeks anyway. How about a two-week contract for Mo?

  1. nymets4ever - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    title is wrong

    • nymets4ever - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      nvm i’m dumb…

      • renaado - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        …Don’t think badly of yourself nymets4ever.

  2. jbriggs81 - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    I think this is all BS by Girardi. He knows that Shawn Kelley will be given most (if not all) save opportunities, assuming he pitches well. Girardi also knows that both Thornton and Warren will be the setup man depending on whether the opponent is lefty or righty. He just doesn’t want to play his hand because he doesn’t have to.

    • Kevin Gillman - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      No matter who he puts in as closer, they AREN’T Mo. Times like this has any Yankee fan miss him more.

  3. sdelmonte - Apr 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Bullpen by committee while the closer is out is not that odd. If revealing, of course, that there are questions about bullpen depth.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      I don’t mean to pick on you, but this is a pet peave of mine. Bullpens are committees. The idea is *closer* by committee.

      • sdelmonte - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        No, you are right. Pretend there is an edit function here.

  4. renaado - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    They should have signed Oh Seung Hwan…

  5. genericcommenter - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    It’s next man up. The next guy who can handle 1 inning in mostly low anxiety situations.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      I guess my main point was: there’s no reason to pay closer-money to have a back-up “closer.”

  6. randygnyc - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    All the options besides Thornton don’t have closing experience. Why “name” a closer and add to the anxiety/pressure these young kids are feeling? It’s not necessary, nor is it productive.

  7. NYTolstoy - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    I can tell you it’s not gonna be Bentances. I Hope they go with the Astros point of view and it’s a closer by committee. I would like to see Thornton given a few shots see how he does. Either way hopefully it’s only a few weeks and Robertson comes back healthy. Not the end of the world.

  8. cackalackyank - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    I actually believe the options are Grin and Bareit.

    • spudchukar - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Slimb and Nunn.

      • NYTolstoy - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        That can be a name for a tag team in wrestling. Maybe in the 1980s but good either way

      • dondada10 - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Mike Ock.

      • spudchukar - Apr 8, 2014 at 9:08 PM

        What kind of mind thinks that is clever?

      • southpaw2k - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        I think Slimb is on his way out the door.

  9. mgv38 - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Sam Malone.

    He knows about the Robertson issue.

  10. scottychicago - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Thornton was excellent in Chicago. Except the times he was “the closer.” He never did well outside of his set up role.

  11. mgv38 - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    • NYTolstoy - Apr 8, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Why did you post the video 3 times? And why did I watch it 3 times? Maddness

  12. mikhelb - Apr 8, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    It could be Cabral but as of right now he is warming up in the bullpen due to Nova’s inconsistency (the only thing he is constant with, having surrendered 6 runs and the 4th inning is not yet over).

    And to think Joe Girardi:
    appointed CC as the #1 just because of his huge contract and because he has been #1 for now 11 years (mind you: he owns the worst ERA of all pitchers in opening day with at least 6 starts).

    Designated Nova as #3 just to keep appart Kuroda (#2) from Tanaka (#4)… instead of designating Kuroda, their best pitcher in 2012+2013 as #1, CC as #2 and Tanaka #3.

  13. yahmule - Apr 8, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Nova got tattooed by the O’s today. He had very poor command against Houston his last time out. Hopefully he can get straightened out.

  14. proudlycanadian - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    He was Ivan the Terrible today. You never know if you will get Ivan The Great, or Ivan The Terrible.

  15. unlost1 - Apr 8, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Plenty of options out there- Ugueth Urbina is out of jail now. You could also lure Rick Ankiel out of retirement. Maybe Ryan Dempster is reading this….

    • yahmule - Apr 8, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      Ryan Madson is a realistic option.

  16. straightouttavtown - Apr 8, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    We want Joba! We want Joba!

  17. cackalackyank - Apr 8, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    Closer problem solved. Just get the living crap kicked out of you 14-5. No need for a closer. BRILLIANT!

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