KANSAS CITY -- The Yankees have said for years that the task of replacing Mariano Rivera may be too much for one man. They're hoping that two hurlers will be able to tackle the job.
David Robertson and Rafael Soriano will both pick up save opportunities in Rivera's absence, manager Joe Girardi said, not wanting to lock into a set closer one day after the 42-year-old was lost to a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee.
"We're fortunate in that we believe we have two guys who are capable of doing it," Girardi said. "You look at what Robertson's done, he deserves an opportunity to do it. You look at Soriano's career -- what'd he have, 45 saves a couple years ago? We'll make a decision each day.
"You're probably going to see both of them at some point. I believe we have capable arms down there. Mo is Mo; I'm not saying it's easy to replace him, but guys have to step up a little bit, given an opportunity."
Girardi said that he would make sure not to have Robertson or Soriano surprised by their assignments on any given day. He pointed to Soriano's past success as a closer and Robertson's promise as positives.
"Would I like to have one set closer? Yes," Girardi said. "We're going to try to get to that. We've got to see how it irons out now. ... I can guarantee you're going to see them, probably both, in the eighth and ninth."
Rivera promised that he would be available to help, whether the ninth inning belongs to Robertson or Soriano.
"I said before that I will, whoever it is; I'll be around," Rivera said. "You guys don't get rid of me so easily. I'll be around, and we will talk. Definitely, all my advice and all my heart and all my knowledge will be there."
With Mo on DL, Yanks add Wise, Eppley
KANSAS CITY -- The Yankees modified their roster before Friday's game against the Royals, adding outfielder Dewayne Wise and right-hander Cody Eppley to the squad from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In corresponding moves, right-hander D.J. Mitchell was optioned to Triple-A, while Mariano Rivera was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Michael Pineda was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to open a slot for Wise on the Yankees' 40-man roster.
"We've been really playing short; at times it's difficult," manager Joe Girardi said. "Wise is a very good defender. He's been really swinging the bat in Triple-A."
Wise was hitting .333 (25-for-75) with four homers and 10 RBIs at Triple-A, playing all three outfield positions. Eppley is up for his second stint with New York, having allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings.
Triple-A hitters to test Pettitte on Sunday
KANSAS CITY -- Andy Pettitte could be making his final Minor League start on Sunday, pitching for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Rochester, N.Y.
Pettitte, 39, is expected to throw 95-100 pitches in the effort against Pawtucket at Frontier Field, though the Yankees are holding off on promising him a promotion to the Major League club until after they see how he comes through the effort.
Pettitte last appeared in an April 30 extended spring game against a Phillies lineup in Clearwater, Fla., permitting six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings. He has made five Minor League starts this year, allowing 11 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings (4.36 ERA).
Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher (left hamstring) hit on the field at Kauffman Stadium on Friday and could be back in the club's lineup on Tuesday against the Rays at Yankee Stadium. Outfielder Brett Gardner (strained right elbow) is likely to play in Minor League rehab games on Sunday and Monday.
The Yankees could still have David Aardsma in their bullpen after the All-Star break. The right-hander is "progressing" as he continues to work out in Tampa, Fla., according to Girardi, and he has had no setbacks coming off Tommy John surgery.
Major League Baseball executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre has taken an error away from left fielder Eduardo Nunez, crediting Nick Johnson with a double in the sixth inning of the Yankees' loss to the Orioles on Tuesday. Left-hander Boone Logan is thus charged with two additional earned runs.
On this date in 1929, Lou Gehrig hit three home runs, going 4-for-4 with 13 total bases and four RBIs in an 11-9 win over the White Sox. On this date in 1981, Yankees hurler Ron Davis struck out eight consecutive Angels, setting a big league record for consecutive strikeouts in a relief appearance.