Five of the Yankees everyday position players are in line to be all-star game starters, but there’s no vote for all-star game pitchers. If you could vote for one Yankees pitcher to make the team, who would it be?
CC Sabathia is tied for the league lead in wins, and Mariano Rivera is second in saves, but right now the Yankees all-star pitcher just might be Dave Robertson.
“He’s just got a lot of confidence in what he does,” Joe Girardi said. “And he has very good command, usually, of two pitches. And he’s mixed in a changeup a few times, which I think has been effective for him. It’s not something he uses a whole lot. He has that late life on the fastball, and it’s tough on hitters.”
I’m not sure he could win a fan vote, and it’s rare for any middle reliever to be selected at large, but Robertson has numbers — a team-low 1.19 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 30.1 innings — and he has to have the attention of the league. He’s stepped into a bigger-than-expected role, and he keeps dancing out of next-to-impossible situations.
“I feel like coming into those jams makes me really have to focus on throwing strikes,” Robertson said. “In the past when I’ve come in and no one’s on base, I tend to walk a couple — still do every now and then — but I think that’s really kind of helped me be able to bear down and kind of just pretend it’s a situation like that and just throw strikes and go after hitters.”
Girardi said yesterday that Robertson will probably fall out of the setup role when Rafael Soriano comes off the disabled list. For now, though, Robertson’s making it a little easier to forget that the Yankees are missing their top offseason addition (a guy who actually was an all-star last season). The Yankees have some bigger names who are pitching well enough to receive some all-star attention, but their newest setup man is worth a look as well.
“I’ve been moved around all over the place,” Robertson said. “I’ll stay in this spot I’m at right now for as long as they want me to.”
Associated Press photo