BALTIMORE (AP) - First Mariano Rivera, now David Robertson. The New York Yankees are running out of healthy pitchers to put in the closer's role.
Robertson was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a strained muscle in his left ribcage. The right-hander was working as the fill-in closer for Rivera, who is likely sidelined for the season after tearing a knee ligament on May 3.
Robertson finished five games this season and was 0-1 with a 2.51 ERA and one save. He had not pitched since Friday because of discomfort in his ribcage, an injury diagnosed Tuesday as a strained oblique muscle.
``We don't think it's too severe, but it's hard to tell,'' manager Joe Girardi said. ``Obliques can be tricky. We expect him not to pick up a baseball for probably seven to 10 days, and then we'll see where we are after that.''
To fill out the bullpen, New York recalled right-hander Cody Eppley from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Rafael Soriano, who earned a save Monday night in Baltimore, will become the new closer.
``We lost Mariano first. The bullpen will do whatever we have to do,'' Soriano said. ``Now with two guys down, it's not easy for us.''
Soriano was 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA and two saves entering Tuesday night's game against the Orioles.
Although no one told Soriano he's been assigned the stopper's role, the right-hander said pitching coach Larry Rothschild has indicated Soriano will be finishing games.
Asked whether he was eager to fill the role, Soriano responded, ``Oh, yes.''
Despite losing Rivera and Robertson, Girardi was confident the Yankees' bullpen would be effective.
``They have been used a lot lately, but we think we have the guys that can get it done,'' the manager said. ``Guys' roles have just increased a little bit, but we're not going to abuse them and ask too much.''