- Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com
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BALTIMORE -- The New York Yankees have placed closer David Robertson on the 15-day disabled list after tests revealed the right-hander suffered a strained left oblique while pitching against the Seattle Mariners on May 11.
The Yankees announced the move roughly three hours before Tuesday's game against the Baltimore Orioles, but did not reveal how much time Robertson will miss.
"We don't think it's too severe but it's hard to tell. Obliques can be tricky," manager Joe Girardi said. "We expect him not to pick up a baseball for probably seven to 10 days and then we'll see where we are after that."
Robertson suffered the injury in his first appearance after that loss, when he pitched in a non-save situation against the Mariners on Friday. He felt pain the next day and was unavailable to the Yankees over the next three games, including Monday night's 8-5 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Robertson was sent back to New York on Monday night and underwent tests Tuesday morning. The Yankees said he'll rejoin the team in Baltimore and accompany it to Toronto, where he'll begin to receive treatment.
Rafael Soriano, who came on to close on Monday and earned his second save of the year, will likely handle the majority of the save opportunities in Robertson's absence.
"Everybody I think knows what I can do in the ninth," Soriano said Tuesday. "I know what I got, and everybody knows what I have, what I can do. And I'm looking forward to it."
Robertson's injury comes only eight days after he was handed the closer role after Mariano Rivera's season-ending torn ACL on May 3 in Kansas City. In Rivera's absence, Robertson had been brought in to close two games. He saved the first one, on May 8 against the Tampa Bay Rays, but took the loss the following night when he allowed four ninth-inning runs in a 4-1 Tampa Bay victory.
"We lost Mariano first. The bullpen will do whatever we have to do," Soriano said. "Now with two guys down, it's not easy for us."
Robertson finished five games this season and was 0-1 with a 2.51 ERA and one save. To take his place on the roster, the Yankees recalled right-handed reliever Cody Eppley from their Triple-A farm club at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Despite losing Rivera and Robertson, Girardi was confident the Yankees' bullpen would be effective.
"They have been used a lot lately, but we think we have the guys that can get it done," the manager said. "Guys' roles have just increased a little bit, but we're not going to abuse them and ask too much."
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.