First Pitch: Robertson returns

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
Picking relief pitchers is like choosing stocks. It helps to know a little more, but still no one really knows.

David Robertson is expected to return from his groin injury on Tuesday in Boston. We know a lot about him, but we still don't know if he is a full-time closer.

[+] EnlargeDavid Robertson
AP Photo/Pat SullivanDavid Robertson is back Tuesday, and that's big news for the Yankees.
He is 2-for-2 and has yet to allow a run in his three innings. Still, one outing was in Houston and the other was in Toronto. A save is a save, but we haven't seen him do it in Boston without the Mariano Rivera safety net.

Robertson should be fine. He has stuff that is pretty dominant for a reliever. His combined ERA the past three years is 1.91, while his strikeout per nine innings is 12 over that same period.

With Robertson hurt, Shawn Kelley earned some respect -- and probably some confidence. Kelley has appeared in an AL-most 10 games as of Monday night, throwing 9 2/3 innings with a 1.86 ERA. He saved four games. He lost one in a non-save situation.

With the emergence of Adam Warren and Dellin Betances combined with veteran Matt Thornton, the Yankees might be able to glue the bullpen together in the post-Mo era.

Still, we need to see how Robertson, Kelley and the rest handle the big spots. In Fenway is as good a place as any.

Pitching Matchups: Here are your Yankees-Red Sox pitching matchups:

Tuesday: Masahiro Tanaka (2-0, 2.05) vs. Jon Lester (2-2, 2.17)

Wednesday: Michael Pineda (2-1. 1.00 ERA) vs. John Lackey (2-2, 5.25)

Thursday: CC Sabathia (2-2, 5.19) vs. Felix Doubront (4-4, 5.48)
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »



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Masahiro Tanaka
13 2.77 141 136
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146