Originally written on Fantasy Baseball Dugout  |  Last updated 11/18/14

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera walks back to the dugout after the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U. S. Cellular Field in Chicago on August 2, 2009. The Yankees won 8-5. UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

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With 42-year-old Mariano Rivera on the DL for the first time since 2003, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that David Robertson and Rafael Soriano will close games the remainder of the season. From what we’ve seen, read, and heard, however, Robertson is the guy to bet on as your fantasy baseball closer for now.

The 27-year-old Robertson is certainly well qualified to fill the very large shoes of Rivera. Robertson is coming off of a breakout year in which he appeared in 70 games with a 1.08 ERA, earning his first All-Star selection in the process. Robertson has also tossed 11 scoreless innings thus far in 2012.

Mark Texeira certainly gave a vote of confidence for Robertson. “Very confident in Robby,” Teixeira said. “He’s been so good for us in the eighth-inning role. He’s got great stuff. He’s got confidence.”

Rivera was placed on the DL prior to the start of last night’s game, thus giving them 10 on the DL; only the rival Red Sox have more players disabled. The Yankees pitching staff was furthered diminished when they moved Michael Pineda to the 60-day disabled list.

Rivera certainly has been durable over his career and it’s odd that a fluke injury occurred to him during batting practice. Rivera has not spent time on the DL since 2003. Some of his teammates, including Derek Jeter, suggested that Rivera may not return, but Rivera has vowed that he will return in 2013.

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