Closer David Robertson ‘feeling good, ready to go’ for White Sox opener
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David Robertson did not pitch on consecutive days during spring training, something he had hoped to do but didn’t in part because of a sore forearm that sidelined him for a week. Not a problem, the new White Sox closer said Sunday.
“Not a big deal to me,” Robertson said Sunday. “We have Opening Day and then a day off. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to get back-to-backs during the season. Just because it didn’t happen in the spring doesn’t mean anything has changed.”
The Sox open the 2015 season against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium today (3:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM) with higher hopes after making several key additions over the offseason. Robertson, who closed for the Yankees last year, signed a four-year, $46 million deal and is being counted on to restore respectability to a bullpen that was among baseball’s worst in 2014.
He hasn’t recorded a save for the Sox, but Robertson already feels like an important part of them. The chord has been cut from the Yankees, for whom he record 39 saves while posting a 3.08 ERA last season.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “This is my organization, this is who I play for. I feel very comfortable in this clubhouse and I’m excited for Opening Day.”
Getting that first save out of the way will probably go further to heighten that comfort level.
“I’d rather just get a first win as a group,’’ Robertson said. “As a group, that’s what we all want to start the season with.’’
Robertson has been saying since his last two outings that the arm soreness was normal for the spring and that he is fine.
“Feeling good, yeah,” he said Sunday. “Ready to go.”
Manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper allowed Robertson, as they often do with veteran pitchers, to map out their own preparation plan during camp. Ventura seemed confident Sunday that Robertson is ready to roll.
“In the past, he has said he doesn’t need as many reps in spring,” Ventura said. “He’s … ready to go and get going, so I’m not worried about that. I hope we get a chance to test him.”
A setup man for Mariano Rivera before he became the Yankees closer last season, Robertson said he’ll pitch more than an inning if needed, although Ventura would ideally like to use him as a one-inning man.
“Done it before. Did it last year,” Robertson said. “Depends on how much rest I’ve had. I could do two [innings] if need be. Sometimes there are days when you have to pick up some slack.”