The New York Yankees are no strangers to injuries, and they were dealt another blow on Monday when closer David Robertson was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained groin.
Starting first baseman Mark Teixeira is already out after a hamstring strain of his own, so losing Robertson is a tough break for the Yankees — and as his fantasy baseball owners.
Robertson is in his first season as the primary closer for the Bombers, taking over the role from the legendary Mariano Rivera, who retired this past winter.
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Robertson sustained the injury while wrapping up the 9th inning in the Yankees’ 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
The 28-year old has two saves in three appearances this year after going 5-1 with three saves, 33 holds, 77 K, and a 2.04 ERA over 66.1 IP in 2013.
There is some good news for fantasy owners, as Yankees’ beat writer Bryan Hoch is reporting that Robertson believes he will only serve the minimum amount of time on the DL:
Robertson said he thinks he will be back in the minimum 15 days.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 7, 2014
While this is definitely a positive comment, groin injuries are always tenuous, which can make the players’ timetable to return a very fluid situation.
Shawn Kelley (0.2 percent owned on ESPN.com) is the player you want to own if you’re chasing saves in your fantasy baseball league.
Kelley came on in the ninth inning to record his first career save during Monday’s 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The 29-year-old was acquired from the Mariners in 2013 in exchange for Abraham Almonte. He looks to be the favorite to garner saves in the Bronx until Robertson returns and is a must-own player in fantasy leagues.
In deeper leagues, Matt Thornton (0.2 percent owned) is another bullpen option worth considering.
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Thornton has plenty of major league experience and could vulture some saves if Joe Girardi chooses to use him in matchup situations. A left-handed specialist, Thornton has limited lefties to a .228 BA throughout his 10-year career.