Austin Romine’s season debut with the Yankees didn’t go so well Monday night in the 9-1 loss to the Astros. The rookie catcher went 0 for 3 and got hit by a pitch. And he and Andy Pettitte struggled to get on the same page with Pettitte not able to locate his signature cutter. But Romine will get other chances with Francisco Cervelli down for at least six weeks. He wants to make a statement when he does.
“Any time you can get a chance to show them what you can do, it’s huge,” Romine said before the game. “So I’m going to take however long I’m here and do the best I can to show them I can handle it up here and I can do it.”
This is the player Baseball America named as the organization’s best defensive catcher following each of the last three seasons. The publication rated him No. 3 in arm strength among high school catchers in the 2007 draft, when the Yankees took him in the second round. But he has to prove he can contribute both ways up here.
“I think he can play at this level,” Joe Girardi said.
Romine only had a .158 average to show for the last time he was up, September of 2011. But that nine-game experience made him more comfortable for this sequel.
“Being here before, knowing what to expect, having caught a lot of these pitchers, it’s going to make that transition that much smoother and easier,” Romine said. “I have relationships with these pitchers. There are only a couple of guys I haven’t caught. So I’m looking forward to reconnecting with them and getting on the same page with what they’re doing this year.”
Here’s the link to my full feature story today on Romine, plus a link to my story on Pettitte’s difficult night and one to my Yankees notebook with items on Kevin Youkilis’ continued back problem, Cervelli and reaction to Jason Collins coming out.