New White Sox closer Robertson won’t sweat blown saves
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — David Robertson understands the drill. Convert the save, and all is well. Blow one, and it’s Meet The Press.
In New York, the latter outcome was probably different than any place the White Sox new closer will experience.
“There’s five or six of you [media] guys in here and I’m used to 40 or 50,” Robertson said Thursday. “So it’s pretty easy.”
Getting the last three outs of a game? That’s the tough part of the job, but Robertson was pretty good at in the Big Apple, saving 39 games in 44 opportunities and posting a 3.08 ERA for the Yankees his first season as a closer in 2014.
Robertson has news for Sox fans: He’s going to blow more than one save in 2015.
“You’re going to have 70 appearances and 65 will be good,” he said.
“If you’re good, quick and efficient you fly under the radar. But as soon as you blow one, that’s when the bad part comes in because everyone wants to know what happened. And I’ll say ‘I made a bad pitch, I hung it in the middle.’
“Oh, it’s going to happen. But you won’t hear any excuses out of me.”
An easygoing Alabama boy who turns 30 on April 9, Robertson signed the biggest contract ever for a White Sox reliever in December, landing a $46 million, four-year deal. That’s big money to throw at a problem that badly needed attention.
But the Sox have no concerns about whether he can handle the pressure. Not after pitching in New York and taking over for probably the best ever, Mariano Rivera, last year.
“I never thought too much about the Mariano retiring and me taking over kind of thing,” he said. “I just knew that I wanted the opportunity and I got it. And I did a pretty good job but you know what? I had to look out for what was best for me and my family and that option was here.”
That’s because he and his wife like Chicago and he liked that the Sox are built to have a chance to win.
Robertson said he’ll need five or six outings this spring to be ready. He threw to hitters on the back fields Thursday in preparation for his first outing, which he said will probably be next week.
“And once I get there you’re going to see a lot of appearances real quick,” he said.