Saturday, May 5, 2012

Potential Problem For Mo!

"I am coming back. Put it down. Write it down in big letters. I'm not going out like this. I can't go down like this." -Mariano Rivera

AP Photo

The season-ending freak accident to Yankee closer Mariano "Mo" Rivera is probably the last thing anyone envisioned in this early season. Just last week I read an article where Mo was consoling new acquisition Michael Pineda on how he should handle his devastating season-ending injury. I'm sure, at the time, the last thing on Rivera's mind was that he too would have the same destiny.

But the great Rivera has made it clear that he ain't goin' down this way. He'll be back!

As great as Mo has been during his career-- the greatest closer ever, without a shadow of a doubt-- it may not be so simple. Yes, during his major-league record 608-saves career Mo has been lights out. Yes, he has been the closest thing to perfect with his near 90% save conversion rate for his career. But at 42, Mo's "undoing" may be the "doing" for another man. The same way Mo began his career as a lights-out 8th inning setup man so has David Robertson, who will be the new Yankee closer for the remainder of the season. Robertson, the 2011 Setup Man of the Year, has a-- get this-- 0.00 ERA thus far this year. Last season he had a 1.08 ERA with 34 HOLDS in 66.2 innings. Over the past two seasons opponents have barely been able to bat .170 against him. He was so good last year that he actually received a vote for the AL Cy Young Award and a vote for the AL MVP Award. How many setup men can lay a claim to that? There is no question this kid has the potential to be a lights-out closer himself.

So yes, if there's anyone that can comeback at 43, it's the great Rivera-- but the question is-- will the closer spot still be open when he comes back?

Getty Images

Something tells me the dawning of a new era has begun at Yankee Stadium.

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