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Robertson embraces setup role with Yanks

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Joining a bullpen with late-inning power arms such Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances means fewer save opportunities for Yankees reliever David Robertson.

The newly acquired reliever, who notched 13 saves in 14 chances with the White Sox before being traded to New York, doesn't mind one bit.

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SEATTLE -- Joining a bullpen with late-inning power arms such Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances means fewer save opportunities for Yankees reliever David Robertson.

The newly acquired reliever, who notched 13 saves in 14 chances with the White Sox before being traded to New York, doesn't mind one bit.

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"Hopefully I can get some of these other guys who've taken the ball in the later innings a little bit of breather and pick them up and keep everyone fresh and move toward the postseason," Robertson said.

He made his second Yankees debut on Friday in the club's 5-1 win over the Mariners, striking out the side in the seventh inning. He was drafted by the team and played with New York from 2009-14 before signing a free-agent deal with the White Sox.

"I've thrown more pitches in this uniform than any other one, so it's nice to put it back on."

The 32-year-old reliever was included in a package that sent third baseman Todd Frazier, reliever Tommy Kahnle and Robertson from the White Sox to the Yankees in exchange for Tyler Clippard and three prospects. Robertson, along with Kahnle, bolstered an already strong Yankees bullpen.

Video: Todd Frazier, Robertson, Kahnle happy to join Yankees

With Kahnle boasting the fourth most strikeouts per nine innings among MLB relievers with at least 20 innings pitched, at 15.08, and Robertson No. 17, at 12.69, the Yankees own five pitchers - Kahnle, Robertson, Betances, Chapman and Chad Green -- in the top 25.

And while Robertson, a Yankee from 2009-14, won't overtake Chapman's lion share of ninth-inning work, he will be a viable option in late-game situations, according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

"I feel like Dellin and Robertson, you can interchange those couple of parts depending on where you are in the lineup with different ideas that I have," Girardi said. "If Chapman needed a day off, I could definitely put [Robertson] in that spot [the ninth]. [Robertson's] embraced: 'I'll do whatever.' You want me to pitch me in the sixth and give him multiple innings, I'll do that.

"[Robertson's] a guy I feel like I can use in a lot of different situations."

Girardi's feeling matches Robertson's outspoken willingness to be a versatile piece in the Yankees' bullpen.

"I'm here to help us win ballgames," Robertson said. "I'll pitch whenever, wherever -- whatever it takes to win."

Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. He covered the Yankees on Friday.

New York Yankees, David Robertson