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


Romine: “I’m here to show them that I can do it”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 12, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Austin Romine is well aware that last season’s back injury cost him valuable playing time, and he knows the Yankees have said he’s likely to open this season back in the minors. Way he sees it, that means this spring is just like last spring.

“Every year I’m coming in, and I’m trying to be on the team,” he said. “I’m not changing my mindset. … I don’t want to go to Triple-A. I want to be on this team, I’m here to show them that I can do it, and I’m going to earn it.”

Of course, reality is that this spring is unlike any other for Romine. With the big league catching job up for grabs, Romine is competing for more than attention and a few at-bats off the bench. He’s not a favorite for the job, but he hasn’t been ruled out either.

“I don’t know if you’d say equal footing because he missed a lot of last year with the back,” Joe Girardi said. “His biggest thing is, he needs to stay healthy and play the whole year. I don’t see why at some time he couldn’t help us this year. I just don’t know exactly when it will be.”

Romine said he weighed in at 215 pounds, with is 13 less than at the end of last season. He wasn’t giving a best-shape-of-my-life speech. Not exactly, anyway. He was really talking about his back, which limited Romine to 31 games last season. Losing the weight, and being smart about his offseason workouts, has eased the pain and left Romine feeling fully healthy. He quickly dismissed the idea of the back injury returning this year.

“At the end of the day, I’ll be like, hey, I don’t feel anything today,” he said. “And that’s where you want to be. Don’t even notice it.”

Last year was a bit of a lost season, but by design, spring training is a chance to start over.

“It’s kind of like, oh man, I missed out a little bit on some opportunities (last year),” Romine said. “But it’s still there, it’s still out in the open. I’m here now. I feel great. I tend not to dwell on the past. I missed a lot of ball for a while there, (but) I’m back and I’m itching to get going.”

Other catching notes from today…

• Chris Stewart’s locker is on the far side of the back wall where all of the top catchers are grouped together (Francisco Cervelli, J.R. Murphy, Bobby Wilson and Romine are back there, too). Stewart has the locker that belonged to Russell Martin the past two years. “That’s a good sign,” Stewart said. “I’ll take it.”

• Oddly enough, this will be Stewart’s fourth season in the Yankees organization, but it’s his first time opening camp with them. Last year, he was traded from San Francisco at the end of camp, in 2009 he was traded from the White Sox in the middle of spring training, and in 2008 he was signed in April after being released by the Rangers.

• Are Stewart and Cervelli as good as Russell Martin defensively? “Yeah, I believe so, definitely,” Girardi said. “I believe these guys have the ability to be very good back there. They’re not going to hit the home runs that Russell hit, but these guys have an opportunity to save runs, and that’s important.”

• CC Sabathia was asked whether he would prefer to have a definite No. 1 catcher. “In a perfect world, everybody would want to throw to Pudge Rodriguez or Sandy Alomar every start,” Sabathia said. “I think it’s okay to have a group compete. Since I’ve been here, I’ve thrown to a lot of different guys and I don’t find any problem with it. I think we’ll be okay.”

Associated Press photo

 
 

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26 Responses to “Romine: “I’m here to show them that I can do it””

  1. Bronx Jeers February 12th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Stewart could be this years Thurman Munson only he’ll be more like Rick Cerone.

  2. blake February 12th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I hope Romine gives them no choice but to play him

  3. FiretheUMPIRE February 12th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    What I want to see from Romine is Russell Martin catching quality and an approach at the plate that is anti-Russell Martin. Just take what they give you, like Cervelli. Minus the drugs.

  4. yankfan1 February 12th, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    “Just take what they give you, like Cervelli. Minus the drugs.”

    haha I see what you did there

  5. CompassRosy February 12th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Larry Stone ?@StoneLarry
    Quite a day for Mariners: Announce signings of Saunders, Garland, Loe, plus Felix extension, plus Carp DFA’d.

    ~

    given the Yanks proclivity for exM’s …
    seems it’s just a matter of time before Carp is in pinstripes ;)

  6. Chip February 12th, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Please win the job Romine. Having a farm hand actually perform at a high level might give the Yankees the kick in the rear end that they need to realize that playing prospects is a good thing.

  7. DaSaint007 February 12th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I’m hoping Cervelli makes it as the starting catcher, and Chris Stewart would be my choice as experienced backup or CC’s caddy. Romine should start the season at AAA and hopefully be brought up mid-season, with either Cervelli or Stewart traded. JR Murphy and Bobby Wilson probably get released prior to the end of ST.

  8. Tar February 12th, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    So glad ST finally arrived!

    That picture of Romine making the tag above looks like his head was photoshopped onto someone else’s body. :D And why does he have his back to the runner? Something’s amiss with that photo.

  9. Pat M. February 12th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Chip. Yanks really want Austin ti be the everyday catcher and if he stays healthy and has a decent camp then he’ll be there opening day. Some guys I spoke with think the Yanks are still the team to beat in the AL East. That being said, they’re a razor thin club though. Much has to go right and very little can go wrong ( injuries etc. ).

  10. Chip February 12th, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Pat – I agree that the Yankees want Romine to be the guy – I think the talk about him opening in AAA is just their way of letting him know that nothing’s going to be handed to him.

  11. blake February 12th, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Hey Pat M….yea id guess they would love for Romine to distinguish himself in the spring and win the job….they are gonna make him earn it though and that’s fine

  12. Doreen February 12th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    What has to happen for Romine to win the job, though?

    Not get hurt, that’s #1, I’d guess. Then, if Cervelli and Stewart are both so good behind the plate, how bad do they have to be AT the plate for Romine to leap-frog them? Or does one of them get hurt? Or one of them get suspended?

    I’d love for Romine to win the job outright – that would mean he had a heck of a spring and a good sign of things to come, in addition to not faltering under the pressure of having a chance (as slim as it may be) to make the team out of spring.

    Or it could mean that Stewart is the starting catcher, and Cervelli is the odd guy out, too, whether it’s for a bad spring overall or more information coming out of Miami.

  13. jacksquat February 12th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    On the center field situation…
    “If you were going to make a change, you would make it pretty early in spring training. As of today, we haven’t really decided that we’re going to make a change. We haven’t had a lot of discussions about making a change. The reason I talk about it is that now you’ve got two guys (who have to change) — well, Gardy doesn’t really have to learn the position — but you’re moving two guys, in a sense. So it’s something that I’m sure will be talked about a little bit, but as of right now, Ichiro’s in right, Curtis is in center, and Gardy’s in left.”

    I hope this just means they haven’t talked to Granderson yet so they aren’t really going to say anything about a switch.

  14. Niki February 12th, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I really hope Cervelli makes the team and doesn’t have to go back to AAA.

  15. Tar February 12th, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    IMO the chances of Romine winning the starting job are slim to none ( barring injury )

    The Yankees wont even give the 4th OF job to a rookie.

    They have talked about going for defense from the 2 spot. Correct me if i’m wrong, but even when Romine has played he has not exactly shown himself to be a defensive wiz behind the plate.

    Handing the starting catcher’s job to a rookie that hasn’t really played in a year, well I have to see that to believe it.

  16. Pat M. February 12th, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Doreen….. Are you back doing the breakfast club ???

  17. BronxBorn February 12th, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Hello Tar, Pat M and Doreen

  18. Stoneburner - The Return of Wax February 12th, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    “He’s an interesting name,” said an NL scout of Carp. “He’s been buried on that roster in a big ballpark, and if you take him out of there, he may break out. He’s someone you’d take a chance on.” Carp is batting just .216/.316/.346 in an injury-shortened season this year, but he slugged .466 for the M’s last year and also mashed at Triple-A in 2010 and 2011.
    Source: Boston Globe / Cafardo

  19. Tar February 12th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Hey BronxBorn! How is our resident Poet laureate doing?

  20. Tar February 12th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    For those who don’t know, BronxBorn is a long time Lohudian and an esteemed Poet to boot. Click on his handle and you can read about his great work.

    Time to watch the the speech. Catch everybody later.

  21. Pat M. February 12th, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Bronx Born. Great to see you here. Spring training brings back some of our old members who offer great insight and perspective. Doreen, Bronx Born are just the beginning of the parade I hope. Still sadden that we’ll be without GB though.

  22. austinmac February 12th, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Isn’t it great to have real on-field baseball activities tomorrow? It has been a long off-season. I hope we see some youth step up and play roles.

  23. Ghostwriter February 12th, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Doreen February 12th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    What has to happen for Romine to win the job, though?

    ===========

    I think that hitting is gravy for the position. If he can play good, solid defense, and prove that he can handle the pitching staff, I think that the job will be Romine’s, absent a stellar spring from Cervelli. I’m just hoping for a good, strong competition between the three of them, and for somebody to win the job, as opposed to not being as bad as the competition.

  24. Ghostwriter February 12th, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Who brought up moving Grandy at today’s press conference? Was it Girardi or one of the reporters? I’m not sure that I see the point in moving Grandy at this stage of the game; I would have done it when he first got here but not now.

  25. Ghostwriter February 12th, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Pat M. February 12th, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Bronx Born. Great to see you here. Spring training brings back some of our old members who offer great insight and perspective. Doreen, Bronx Born are just the beginning of the parade I hope. Still sadden that we’ll be without GB though.
    ——-

    What happened to GB?

  26. Ghostwriter February 12th, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Tar February 12th, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    IMO the chances of Romine winning the starting job are slim to none ( barring injury )

    The Yankees wont even give the 4th OF job to a rookie.

    They have talked about going for defense from the 2 spot. Correct me if i’m wrong, but even when Romine has played he has not exactly shown himself to be a defensive wiz behind the plate.

    Handing the starting catcher’s job to a rookie that hasn’t really played in a year, well I have to see that to believe it.
    ==========

    Making a solid prospect a fourth outfielder seems like a waste to me. If he’s a legitimate prospect, his time is best spent starting, in the minors if not in the Majors. Fourth outfielder is a good slot for a veteran.


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