The New York Yankees aren’t off to the start they were expecting this season, especially with all of their new offseason aquisitions. The Yankees are playing just above .500 and are in third place in the best division in baseball, with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles in first and second respectivly. However the Yankees are going to be in trouble down the stretch. The best closer of all time, Mariano Rivera tore his ACL during batting practice on May 3rd. The accident occured when Rivera ran after a fly ball during batting practice, when he reached the warning track in the outfield his right knee buckled and he fell to the ground in pain. Rivera like most bullpen pitchers was shagging fly balls in the outfield, like he always does. Although the injury will likely bench the 42 year old closer for the rest of the season, however Rivera won’t rule anything out.
The Yankees have relied on Rivera since 1997 to be their closer, and there was only one season since then that he had less than 30 saves. The job to fill the shoes of the 12 time Allstar and 5 time World Series Champion will be a hard thing to do. However the Yankees have some options. The most likely candidate will be Rafael Soriano, who struggled last season as the setup man for the Yankees, but was sensational with the Rays in 2010. If Soriano can step up and fill the shoes of Rivera, the Yankees will have a good season. If he can’t the Yankees may have to do some trading or look to their bullpen.