05/05/12 7:17 PM ET
Robertson ready for any role Yanks need
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
"It doesn't really matter to me," Robertson said. "I've been back and forth between [innings] -- six, seven, eight, all sorts of things. It doesn't really matter to me because it's not my decision to make."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he isn't prepared to be tied down to a single closer in the wake of Mariano Rivera's season-ending right knee injury.
Girardi promised that Rafael Soriano would see time in the ninth inning as well, but for the purposes of Friday's contest -- the first without Rivera -- Soriano warmed up in the eighth inning and Robertson entered for the ninth.
"I'm going to go out there and do the same thing I'd do in the eighth, sixth or ninth," Robertson said. "I'm going to go out there and get outs. That's the bottom line."
Using what catcher Chris Stewart called a "disappearing fastball" that sneaks up on hitters, Robertson has struck out each of the last eight batters he has faced and 10 of the last 11 as he has compiled 12 scoreless innings to begin the season.
"His command has been better," Girardi said. "He can get in some three-ball counts, but he's been able to make pitches when he's done it. I think it's just the experience has probably helped him get away from the walks. It's important, in the role that we ask him, that it continues."
Heart of lineup showing signs of life
KANSAS CITY -- There are signs of life from the heart of the Yankees' lineup, which is a very welcome development for manager Joe Girardi.
Mark Teixeira homered, singled and reached on an error in Friday's 6-2 win over the Royals, and both Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano also rapped hits to move their production in the right direction.
"I sure hope so, because any three, four, five [hitters] are so important to a lineup," Girardi said. "To get them going would really be helpful, especially with the two guys up top, the way they've been getting on base and producing."
Rodriguez served as the Yankees' designated hitter for the ninth time in his 26 games on Saturday, but Girardi said that he did so because he is hoping to have Rodriguez play third base in Sunday's afternoon contest in Kansas City.
"He's fine; don't make anything of it," Girardi said. "He is fine, and I'm just trying to keep him as fresh as I can. If you've noticed, I've only sat him one time in 26 games. I've only had to sit him one time, and it's because I'm able to do what I'm doing."
Derek Jeter had two hits on Friday, including a home run, to raise his batting average to .404, while Curtis Granderson has now reached base in 25 straight games since Opening Day.
Girardi has been most impressed by Jeter's power; he already has five homers in 114 at-bats entering Saturday after slugging just six in 546 at-bats in 2011.
"It really seemed that after he got past the 3,000th hit, he's hit extremely well," Girardi said. "He's hit for more power this year. ... He's just in a good groove. He feels good physically, and we'll continue to watch him."
Swisher goes through complete workout
KANSAS CITY -- Nick Swisher has an outside chance of returning to the Yankees' lineup on Sunday for the club's series finale at Kauffman Stadium.
Swisher jogged onto the field for batting practice and went through a complete workout, including hitting, fielding and running the bases, to test the tight left hamstring that has kept him out since April 29.
Playing Swisher on Sunday is "something we'll have to think about, talk to the doctors and trainers and see what they think," manager Joe Girardi said.
Brett Gardner, who remains on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, took batting practice on the field Saturday and could do so again on Sunday. If that goes well, Gardner would be scheduled for at least two Minor League rehab games.
Eric Chavez, who is on the seven-day concussion disabled list, is feeling better and is scheduled to see a physician on Monday. The Yankees aren't ruling out that Chavez could be activated when he is eligible.
On this date in 1922, the construction contract for Yankee Stadium was awarded to the White Construction Company, with the edict that the job be completed at a definite price of $2.5 million by Opening Day 1923. The stadium was completed in 284 working days.