David Robertson #30 of the New York Yankees delivers a...

David Robertson #30 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the ninth-inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. (May 8, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

The handwriting has been on the wall for awhile, and David Robertson has no trouble reading it. When he’s ready to return from the disabled list, he understands, Rafael Soriano has pretty much laid claim to the closer role, having gone 6-for-6 in save opportunities since Robertson’s cameo as the replacement for Mariano Rivera was cut short by a strained left oblique.

Robertson was at the Stadium Tuesday night after throwing a bullpen session earlier in the day. He’s going to throw some batting practice to the Yankees, and if all goes well, he expects to be assigned to pitch some minor-league rehab games. By Robertson’s estimation, it will take “maybe eight or nine days” before he’s ready to rejoin the Yankees’ bullpen staff.

He laughed when a reporter mentioned how well Soriano has performed as the closer. “He’s good,” Robertson said with a smile. “What do you want me to say about it? He’s got a lot of saves under his belt. He knows how to pitch. I never think of it as me being the closer. I still thought whenever the opportunity arises and you get a chance, you go for it.”

So he’s cool with returning to his role as the eighth-inning setup man? “As long as we win games, I really don’t care,” Robertson said.

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