The good news from the bullpen is that Mariano Rivera feels great and says his previously sore left groin is 100 percent.
The not-so-good news, delivered today by Joe Girardi, is that David Robertson has been experiencing stiffness in his right elbow for the past 10 days to two weeks. He’s been shut down until he sees Dr. James Andrews, the specialist in all injuries to athletes, presumably in his Birmingham, Ala., office.
Robertson said he’s not worried. “It’s a concern of mine,” Girardi said, noting Robertson’s “ability to get strikeouts (has been) about as good as anybody in baseball.”
Robertson has struck out 54 batters in 36 1/3 innings since May 26. With 61 K’s in 41 innings overall, he ranks first in average strikeouts per nine innings among AL relievers who quality (at least 40 innings).
This could be encouraging: Robertson has been pitching well, with his usual (or higher) velocity, even with the lingering stiffness. Girardi called that “interesting and unusual.”
For now Girardi is without one option in the bullpen, something a division leader with a nine-game lead can live with in September. On a night when Girardi would use Robertson to give Hughes or even Bruney a night off, he’ll now look to Aceves, Albaladejo, Coke or Marte. “We have a little less flexibility and (fewer) weapons,” Girardi said.
Always optimistic, Girardi is hopeful that Robertson — whom he called “a huge part of our bullpen” — will return relatively soon and contribute in October.
Tino Martinez: I spotted him today at the stadium and he says he’ll be here tomorrow. I’ll ask 10 questions (or so) of Tino that are representative of the ones you submitted back in May. And the Q&A will be posted on the blog by Thursday.
Reminder: I’ll be chatting at 6:45 p.m. tomorrow until first pitch. Hope you can join me!
Thank you: For reading and for the birthday wishes. Very nice.