If you saw Brian Cashman’s interview on the YES Hot Stove Show yesterday, you know that he seemed particularly interested in stressing that none of the young catchers in the Yankees system are going to be handed a job for next season. Even though Jorge Posada has been told he’ll be the primary DH in 2011, Cashman doesn’t want people thinking that Jesus Montero (or anyone else) is going to automatically slide in if they don’t perform.
At Joe Torre’s gala, Cashman expanded on that concept slightly with an interesting quote about the competition between Montero, Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli.
“I’m sure Montero’s gonna want to prove that it’s time for him to catch,” Cashman said. “I’m sure Romine’s gonna want to prove that, ‘Hey, why is Montero getting all the ink, they should be writing about me.’ And I’m sure Cervelli is in the middle of this thing saying, ‘Hey, this is a bunch of crap, because I should be the guy that they’re talking about being the everyday guy. I’ve got more experience than the other two.'”
Cashman went on, “Which creates great competition — that’s what I want. And I wouldn’t even close the door on looking out in the marketplace and see if I can secure somebody else out there as a cushion. … I hope that’ll be a great healthy competition.”
Ultimately, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Yankees signed a catcher (figure someone a cut below the John Buck level) as some more insurance but the battle between Romine and Montero (and, sure, Cervelli) should be a highlight of spring training.
These guys have been getting a whole lot of ink and attention from the media for the past few years, and if you’ve been following these guys for a while now – as I know most of you have – then spring training ought to be a whole lot of fun seeing what they can do.
* Those are AP shots of Romine (top) and Montero (below)