NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees closer David Robertson is headed to the disabled list because of a strained groin just three appearances into his role as Mariano Rivera's replacement.
Robertson felt discomfort Sunday five or six pitches into the ninth inning of a 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, his second save in three outings this season.
"It's really disappointing," Robertson said Monday after New York beat Baltimore 4-2 in its home opener. "I would've loved to have been out there pitching the ninth today, especially on opening day here."
Instead, Robertson had an MRI that revealed a Grade 1 strain and setup man Shawn Kelley earned his first career save. Kelly pitched a perfect ninth that ended with him catching a toss from first baseman Kelly Johnson and keeping the game ball.
"Exciting," said Kelley, who learned Sunday night he might fill in for Robertson.
Robertson doesn't expect his absence to last more than the required 15 days.
"Anytime I sit for a handful of days I feel good as gold," Robertson said. "I think it will be rest a little while, play catch and get a bullpen and get right back in there."