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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Spring decision: Starting catcher

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 06, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

With the addition of Travis Hafner, the Yankees have their regular lineup pretty much set. They’re still figuring out some alternatives to use against lefties, but the regular lineup against right-handers is more or less in place, with one notable exception: The Yankees still don’t have a starting catcher. It’s been this way ever since Russell Martin signed with the Pirates and Brian Cashman said he would likely stick with his in-house options.

The situation
The Yankees weren’t willing to top Pittsburgh’s two-year, $17-million offer to Martin, they weren’t crazy about A.J. Pierzynski, and the rest of the catching market was limit. And so the Yankees have done exactly what Cashman said he would: Nothing at all. They’ve signed Bobby Wilson to a minor league deal, but that’s hardly a game changer. Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart seem to be the favorites for the job, with the Yankees saying they still expect Austin Romine to open the season in Triple-A.

The options
Really, there are two options, with the second option coming with a series of added choices: 1. Give the job to Romine, who has significantly less experience, but also seems to have a good glove with more offensive upside than the other choices. 2. Send Romine back to Triple-A for more minor league seasoning and give the job to one of the former backups. That means trusting that Stewart, Cervelli or Wilson — whichever wins the job — will do enough defensively to make up for what they lack offensively (or, just maybe, it means hoping that one of them outperforms offensive expectations). There is, of course, a third option that’s worth mentioning: See how the trade market develops during spring training. Maybe not ideal because the hypothetical catchers wouldn’t get many spring innings with the Yankees pitching staff, but might be necessary if the Yankees don’t like what they’re seeing from the current options.

The fallout
One way or another, it seems certain that one of the three veterans will be the Yankees backup, so that trickle down impact is minimal. The real long-term impact centers on Romine, who would be a better position to claim the job had he not missed almost all of last season with a back injury. He has just 21 games of Triple-A experience, so the claim that he could benefit from some time in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has some merit. But Romine is also 24 years old and spent two years in Double-A being blocked by Jesus Montero. Gary Sanchez could get to Trenton this year, so the window for Romine to establish himself — either as a big league starter, backup or none of the above — is fairly small. If he is sent to Triple-A, what would he have to show to earn a call-up?

Associated Press photo

 
 

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63 Responses to “Spring decision: Starting catcher”

  1. Mike in Harrisburg February 6th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I have Romine’s autograph sitting on my desk from when he was in the AA All-star game a few years ago. For that reason alone I hope he gets the job and succeeds with it.

  2. blake February 6th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    the decision is…..Punt.

  3. Rich in NJ February 6th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    It should never have come to this.

  4. Hassey February 6th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    no – run out of the end zone for a safety that cost me $1000

  5. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    let the scrub and the cheater handle the catching for the first couple of months, then bring up romine.

  6. Jerkface February 6th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Todd Helton arrested for a DUI. Put that man in the Hall of Fame!

  7. PacoDooley February 6th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    The more players that basically validate the connection to that clinic, the worst it will look for Alex.

    If several players were to link him and claim he was their connection (like Melky, Montero, Cervelli) then this could get really bad for him, and I could see that as a route to him losing his contract.

  8. blake February 6th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    “Todd Helton arrested for a DUI. Put that man in the Hall of Fame!”

    as long as he didn’t do PEDs its fine

  9. Rich in NJ February 6th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    blake ftw

  10. blake February 6th, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I have gotten an extreme case of laryngitis the last 2 years exactly this week…..it’s awful….I can’t say anything.

  11. Against All Odds February 6th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Rich in NJ February 6th, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    It should never have come to this.

    —————————

    Still can’t believe we don’t have a catcher. I thought they would make a move by now.

  12. blake February 6th, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Its really hilarious the way the baseball community demonizes guys that use PEDs but they will totally brush off drunk driving and wife beating…..and the NFL brushes off all criminal activity if a guy can play on sunday.

  13. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    idk blake, pineda was pretty reviled for his dui here last year.

    as for other players, its not uncommon for young people to dismiss dui’s among their friends. i don’t think the overall attitude about dui among atheletes is any different from others in their age group.

  14. Against All Odds February 6th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Something is off about this steroid thing Blake

  15. Jerkface February 6th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    idk blake, pineda was pretty reviled for his dui here last year.

    Writers aren’t putting out 100 articles reviling DUIs and calling for DUI convicted players to be kept out of the hall of fame :)

  16. G. Love February 6th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I wonder if Gena Davis can still catch?

  17. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    the writers you are talking about write about the game of baseball. ped usage is directly related to reporting on baseball.

    what happens in the player’s lives outside of baseball does affect their games and their careers, but its not directly related to baseball.

    most baseball writers also dont go into who’s dating who or even mention what players do off the field. thats kind of a whole different sub-set of sports writers who are into the ‘who’s dating whom’ crowd.

  18. Jerkface February 6th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    That is an interesting way to excuse players. Criminal behavior is criminal behavior. If a baseball player commits a crime, should baseball writers not comment on it? Why is it fine to excuse despicable behavior when talking about the Hall of Fame? It even lists character as a criteria!

  19. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    can we all just be clear about something. its not steroids!

    nobody is accused of getting steroids from this clinic. it’s hgh and testosterone.

    testing for steroids seems to have stopped the rampant usage that we are told happened before steroid testing.

    hgh testing will begin this season.

  20. austinmac February 6th, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    To be fair criminal activities impacting the playing of the game is different than criminal activity not doing so.

    The reason we care about PEDs in baseball is for the records. We all knew or know various baseball records. In football, so many things change such as season length, records don’t mean as much. Hence, the public is fine watching drugged up football players doing amazing athletic things.

  21. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    “Jerkface February 6th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    That is an interesting way to excuse players. Criminal behavior is criminal behavior. If a baseball player commits a crime, should baseball writers not comment on it?”
    ———————————————————–
    a baseball writer can choose to write about it or not. but it’s not directly related to the game of baseball, whereas PED usage is.

  22. Jerkface February 6th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    a baseball writer can choose to write about it or not.

    But most choose not to write or care about it. A terrible double standard by society.

  23. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    its not a double standard. as i said above, baseball wirters write about the game of baseball. ped usage is directly related to the outcome of the games, the records and who wins and loses.

    dui, wife beating and/or being a good catholic or a drunken lout are not directly related to the game of baseball.

    its two different things, so it’s not a case of a double standard.

  24. Stoneburner - The Return of Wax February 6th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Who says the writers do not write about the DUI’s – - – -

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....e-1.302845

    wacka wacka wacka

  25. Jerkface February 6th, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Actually it is. Because all of you people are crabbing about role models and what will our kids think and whatever, and the hall of fame itself uses character as a criterion for enshrinement, and yet the only things which seem to impinge on anyones character is if they are attempting to be at peak athletic performance or not rather than things which actually matter.

    The baseball media and apparently you, go out of their way to silently endorse drinking and driving, wife beating, whatever. How does a player being drunk off his butt not affect the game? What is the difference between a player who is an alcoholic and a player who uses PEDs?

  26. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    i never said one word about role models or kids so you’re directing your rant at the wrong guy.

  27. Jerkface February 6th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I am directing it at the funny double standard of the baseball media, which does include a lot of role model griping. There has been plenty of that on here as well.

  28. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    …and on top of that i have always said i couldnt possibly give a damn about whether derek jeter is dating jessica simpson or justin bieber what clubs they hang out at, where they go for dinner or what their tattoos say.

    what players do off the field doesnt interest me in the slightest.

  29. blake February 6th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    “idk blake, pineda was pretty reviled for his dui here last year.”

    here sure…..nobody elsewhere cared at all.

  30. blake February 6th, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    “To be fair criminal activities impacting the playing of the game is different than criminal activity not doing so.”

    sure…..but the amount of time attributed to PED related stuff in baseball is nauesating…..it’s hurting the game…

  31. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    ” blake February 6th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    “idk blake, pineda was pretty reviled for his dui here last year.”

    here sure…..nobody elsewhere cared at all”
    —————————————————————-
    true but nationally, pineda rates somewhere near chris copeland.

  32. austinmac February 6th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Blake,

    I am very tired of the PED talk. Now is the time for the media and the public to wait to see what the evidence shows. Could we have video of Jeter standing on the grass fielding grounders, please? Of Pineda inspecting the half mound? Anything baseball related would be nice. Chad is the welcome exception.

  33. blake February 6th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Mac,

    yes I’m ready for baseball…..and even though this Yankee team doesn’t excite me all that much….nothing is better than spring training.

  34. ac1 February 6th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    It is unreal to me that these athletes with all the millions they have can’t call an f’n cab or call a sober friend to drive them somewhere when they drink. Just ridiculous. The thing about steroids, they only hurt the person doing it in the end. Drunk driving can kill other people….. Atrocious that MLB and other sports blow this off like it is nothing, then give MVP awards to those people (and wife beaters).. In Miggy’s case BOTH.

  35. Against All Odds February 6th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    blake February 6th, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    “To be fair criminal activities impacting the playing of the game is different than criminal activity not doing so.”

    sure…..but the amount of time attributed to PED related stuff in baseball is nauesating…..it’s hurting the game…

    ————————–

    It makes the fan numb to this because it gets run into the ground constantly. They think yay we’re getting the msg out but in reality it just makes the public sick.

  36. Against All Odds February 6th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Atrocious that MLB and other sports blow this off like it is nothing, then give MVP awards to those people (and wife beaters).. In Miggy’s case BOTH.

    —————————–

    Baseball has a long history of praising guys like that though. Cobb was far from a saint.

  37. blake February 6th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    “Baseball has a long history of praising guys like that though. Cobb was far from a saint.”

    speaking of Cobb….I watched that movie the other night of MLBnetwork for the first time in years…..I had no idea Clemens was in it….I guess I just missed that the first time.

  38. Ys Guy February 6th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    again, wife beating, dui or donating millions to charity should not count towards who wins the mvp award.

  39. blake February 6th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Justin Verlander ?@JustinVerlander
    Living on the edge at number 8 at pebble. pic.twitter.com/E6RdauMa

    must be nice to throw 100 mph, date Kate Upton, and play Pebble Beach……

  40. ac1 February 6th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    again, wife beating, dui or donating millions to charity should not count towards who wins the mvp award.
    ____

    This is true – but it SHOULD count toward HOW we praise these people.

  41. ac1 February 6th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    must be nice to throw 100 mph, date Kate Upton, and play Pebble Beach……
    ___

    Yeah Verlander is my favorite non Yankee baseball player. Man he has it good.

  42. blake February 6th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    “Yeah Verlander is my favorite non Yankee baseball player. Man he has it good.”

    yea he’s pretty awesome….I wish they could get him but I doubt he ever leaves Detroit

  43. Hassey February 6th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I’d gladly skip the 100 mph and Pebble

  44. ac1 February 6th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Detroit would never let him go…..

  45. Against All Odds February 6th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    blake February 6th, 2013 at 3:24 pm
    “Baseball has a long history of praising guys like that though. Cobb was far from a saint.”

    speaking of Cobb….I watched that movie the other night of MLBnetwork for the first time in years…..I had no idea Clemens was in it….I guess I just missed that the first time.

    —————————

    I didn’t realize that either.

  46. blake February 6th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    yea Clemens is the pitcher when Cobb is hitting and they are trash talking.

  47. Against All Odds February 6th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    blake February 6th, 2013 at 3:37 pm
    yea Clemens is the pitcher when Cobb is hitting and they are trash talking.

    ———————–

    Only thing missing is throwing a sawed off bat in a roid rage :D

  48. UnKnown February 6th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Typical answer from Wally:

    Question: Man, Am I glad Jeter and Arod aren’t friends. Can you imagine what would happen if Arod invited Jeter over for an offseason workout in Miami? That being said, I am just waiting for Cano’s name to pop up on that list. Thoughts?

    Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM): Not for nothing, but Jeter did go down to Miami around the holidays and came back looking a lot slimmer than he had on that NY Post front page. Just sayin. As for Cano, if you;re a Yankee fan you better hope not

  49. Russell Munson February 6th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Matthews is a horse’s ass.

  50. Shame Spencer February 6th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    G. Love February 6th, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    I wonder if Gena Davis can still catch?

    ——————–

    This.

  51. Rich in NJ February 6th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Change the defamation case law*. These people deserve to be sued.

    *not really, but these guys shouldn’t be “reporters.”

  52. blake February 6th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    If Cano’s name got mentioned in that report then it would likely mean nothing on the field…..but it might cost him millions this winter and maybe they could get him cheaper!

  53. Shame Spencer February 6th, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Can someone clarify this for me: I know they’re doing blood test for HGH, but are they going to test the blood for other drugs or will it still be mouth swab/urine tests for that stuff?

  54. Rich in NJ February 6th, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Not that anyone here cares, but the NYG have cut Bradshaw, Canty, and Boley in the last two days. If only the CBA-induced contract structure in MLB incentivized doing that.

  55. Shame Spencer February 6th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    From Knobler:

    @DKnobler

    The Ryan Braun story leaves us back in that uncomfortable zone of steroid uncertainty. http://cbsprt.co/XW65J9

    “Ryan Braun, you’re doing it to us again.

    Leaving us wondering. Leaving us asking questions.

    Leaving us in that zone of uncertainty that we’d hoped we had left behind, when baseball and its players union finally stopped looking the other way on steroids.

    Drug testing was supposed to clean up the game, but it was also supposed to give us clarity. It was supposed to give us trust that we could believe what we were watching.”

    I think it’s interesting… they implemented testing and everyone felt better, even though only a handful of guys have been caught because of it. If steroids were that rampant, doesn’t the lack of positive tests seem suspect?

  56. Rich in NJ February 6th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    “Leaving us in that zone of uncertainty that we’d hoped we had left behind…”

    The death and taxes thing endures for a reason.

  57. Shame Spencer February 6th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    blake February 6th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    If Cano’s name got mentioned in that report then it would likely mean nothing on the field…..but it might cost him millions this winter and maybe they could get him cheaper!

    ———————-

    Should we just start the rumor now..?

    I think we should get together and write his name on pieces of paper, post it on Twitter, and see what happens. Maybe we can cast enough suspicion that we get Cano on the cheap!!

  58. blake February 6th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    “I think we should get together and write his name on pieces of paper, post it on Twitter, and see what happens. Maybe we can cast enough suspicion that we get Cano on the cheap!!”

    lol….you probably could start a wild fire on twitter if you tried hard enough

  59. Shame Spencer February 6th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    blake – People are accidentally reported dead on Twitter once every couple of months. A little while ago I was under the impression Kim Kardashian had died. They killed Eddie Murphy for a minute too.

    This seems like an easier rumor to start… but I don’t know that I have enough followers… maybe the Fake Peter Gammons wants to help us out…?

  60. blake February 6th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    “This seems like an easier rumor to start… but I don’t know that I have enough followers… maybe the Fake Peter Gammons wants to help us out…?”

    maybe so!

  61. Shame Spencer February 6th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Let it be on record: We’re doing everything we can to help the Yankees, including starting vicious unfounded rumors about our own players.

    The next time either of us have our fanhood questioned, I will be bringing this up!

  62. Shame Spencer February 6th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    “Guys, I tried to smear a guys accomplishments to help the Yankees achieve a goal I don’t even believe in!”

    This could be an episode of Seinfeld.

  63. UnKnown February 6th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Just be sure not to throw the baby out with the bath water.


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