New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera says he will return to the mound by 2013, vowing to overcome a knee injury that figures to end his season.
Rivera hinted at the start of spring training that he would retire after this season, and he wasn’t sure what he would do after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and damaging the meniscus in his right knee while shagging fly balls during batting practice Thursday.
In the visitor’s clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Friday, the 42-year-old closer sat on a stool in front of his locker and firmly said that he will not allow his career to end this way.
“I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this,” Rivera said, his almost happy-go-lucky demeanor in stark contrast to the somber mood of the previous night.
“This has me thinking,” Rivera said. “I can’t go down like this.”
Rivera hurt his knee when his foot caught on the turf near the outfield wall before the series opener against Kansas City. An MRI taken during the game revealed the extent of the injury.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that David Robertson and Rafael Soriano will close games the remainder of the season, though he indicated Robertson will get the first shot.
The 27-year-old Robertson emerged as a dependable setup man for Rivera, tossing 11 scoreless innings to start the season. Robertson is coming off a breakout year in which he appeared in 70 games with a 1.08 ERA.
Dodgers sign Abreu
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Bobby Abreu one week after the Angels cut the slumping outfielder.
Abreu, 38, hit .208 in 24 at-bats before the last-place Angels let him go on April 27. He is a career .293 hitter with 284 homers.
Around the majors
Cubs manager Dale Sveum removed struggling Carlos Marmol from his closer’s role. Marmol has two blown saves in four chances this season and a 6.23 ERA in 12 games overall. … The White Sox are moving Chris Sale back to the bullpen to be the team’s closer. Hector Santiago has been Chicago’s primary closer this season, but he had a 7.36 ERA entering the team’s Friday night game. … Red Sox minor league pitcher Mathew Price has been suspended for 50 games for a second violation for drug abuse.