Russell Martin is slated to catch his first game of the spring by the middle of next week, so assuming that he is healthy and capable of being the team’s starting catcher, who is the best fit as his backup?
Francisco Cervelli, who started today, is the incumbent but there’s plenty of competition. Jesus Montero will catch today and Austin Romine had a hit in relief of Cervelli this afternoon.
There are some who believe a player is better off playing every day in the minors than being a backup in the majors, but my feeling is that if Montero (or, I suppose, Romine) shows he is the better player this spring than big-league experience is a valuable asset to have, too. If Montero is playing well a month from now, I’d take him on the roster.
For his part, Cervelli says he’s not taking anything for granted despite having been a serviceable backup last year.
“I don’t feel like I’m the No. 2 now,” Cervelli said. “I never feel comfortable. When you feel comfortable, a lot of bad things can happen. … There are a lot of talented guys here.”
Cervelli said he worked out harder this winter than he ever has, joining Robinson Cano in the Dominican for two months. “I killed the gym,” he said, and called it “the best decision” to spend more time with Cano.
“He’s one of the guys you want to follow,” Cervelli said.
* That’s an AP shot of Montero.