NEW YORK (WFAN) — David Robertson hasn’t yet been handed the keys to Mariano Rivera’s kingdom.
He may not be anointed the Yankees’ closer for awhile. Or ever. Until someone officially gets the job left behind by the retired Rivera, the possibility remains that Robertson — considered by many to be the heir apparent — could be back in his old setup role.
Either way, he’s ready to contribute.
“It’s alright,” Robertson told Sweeny Murti during WFAN’s Yankees hot stove show Wednesday. “Eighth, ninth, whatever. I’m going to do whatever I can do.”
Robertson said no matter what, he’ll be helping the team “win some ballgames.” His plan is to show up to spring training healthy and ready to pitch, and whatever happens after that, well, happens.
“It doesn’t really put me on edge,” Robertson said. “Of course I’d love the opportunity, but you know what, I don’t make those decisions. My job is to play baseball and pitch — pitch when I’m supposed to pitch, whatever the situation is.”
Robertson went 5-1 with a 2.04 ERA, three saves and 77 strikeouts in 66.1 innings in 2013. He was bothered by inflammation in his right shoulder toward the end of the season.
“If I get the opportunity, I’ll be thrilled,” Robertson said. “I’m gonna give it 110 percent. But if I don’t, you know what, I’m back in the eighth inning. We’ll have someone obviously there who’s better than me and can handle the ninth inning, and hopefully we can shorten games the way me and Mo did.”
“I just can’t dwell on the fact,” he added. “But I would definitely love the opportunity, that’s for sure.”
The 28-year-old said Rivera’s emotional farewell in September gave him something to strive for.
“It was so — I don’t know, it’s what I want to do when I go out,” he said. “When I finish playing baseball, that’s what I want to come out like, you know? I’m a long way from it, but that’s something I’m going to try to do.”
More interviews from Sweeny’s hot stove show:
First baseman Mark Teixeira
Hitting coach Kevin Long
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