David Robertson has been out since May 11 with a strained oblique muscle and today general manager Brian Cashman told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York that the Yankees reliever is at least two weeks from potentially coming off the disabled list.
Robertson was manager Joe Girardi’s initial choice to replace Mariano Rivera as closer, but by the time he returns Rafael Soriano may have a pretty firm grip on the job. Soriano is 6-for-6 converting saves while allowing just one run in seven appearances since taking over for Robertson, and overall this season he has a 1.96 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 18 innings.
That’s a moot point for now, as Robertson hasn’t even resumed throwing yet. When asked about his potential return timetable, Cashman replied: “I would shoot for not earlier than mid-June.”
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.