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.”
The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, per a team announcement on Sunday. The assignment is retroactive to June 21. While the right-hander will be eligible to return to the team within the week, it’s not clear yet how long his recovery will take.
Vizcaino, 27, has already been sidelined a week after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. While he was treated with a cortisone injection earlier this month, it doesn’t appear to have had the effect the Braves were hoping for. The injury derailed what has otherwise been a productive season for the right-hander: Through his first 30 appearances, he logged 15 saves with a 1.82 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 over 29 2/3 innings. Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the club is prepared to give more closing duties to rookie left-hander A.J. Minter as Vizcaino takes some time to recover, though it seems conceivable that the up-and-coming Evan Phillips will earn a few looks in the spot as well.
In corresponding moves, infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment and right-hander Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old righty is poised to make his major league debut after four years in the Braves’ system. He currently sports a 2.31 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 12.9 SO/9 through 35 innings at the Triple-A level this season.