The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Pregame notes: “I want Austin to get familiar”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on May 04, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Austin Romine, Ed Hickox

Chris Stewart is catching a day game after a night game, and Joe Girardi made it clear that Stewart will likely catch again tomorrow. Austin Romine has started just once since coming up from Triple-A, and he won’t start again until the Yankees travel to Colorado next week.

“I could change my mind, but it’s three days (in a row),” Girardi said. “It’s still early in the year. We had a day off Thursday and we have a day off Monday.”

Stewart’s potential fatigue isn’t the most surprising part of Stewart’s playing time. The surprising part is that the Yankees have actively stayed away from Romine, a legitimate prospect with a solid defensive reputation and some offensive upside. Romine didn’t get much playing time this spring — which made sense considering he was coming off a year almost entirely lost to injury. But he’s healthy now.

Girardi said the hesitation to use Romine has to do with familiarity, and he’s been saying essentially the same thing since Romine came up to replace Francisco Cervelli. The Yankees want Romine to be familiar with the pitching staff before giving him significant playing time. It probably didn’t help — though the Yankees haven’t said this — that Romine’s first start was a real struggle for Andy Pettitte.

“Stewy’s always been a guy that can handle a pitching staff,” Girardi said. “That’s what we’ve asked our catchers to do is handle our pitching staff well, and he’s familiar with these guys. I want Austin to get familiar with them so we can get him in the mix more, and that takes a little bit of time. But Stew’s always been a very good defensive catcher.”

Jayson Nix• One interesting pregame development: As I type this, Jayson Nix is on the field going through drills at first base. According to baseball reference, Nix has never played first base in the big leagues — he’s played just about every other position — but the Yankees would like a right-handed option at first, especially considering Lyle Overbay’s struggles against left-handers.

• Sounds like all or most of the injured Yankees who are currently in New York – including Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Ivan Nova and Kevin Youkilis – will head to Tampa tomorrow. Obviously not all of them will be able to play right away, but there’s little sense them staying in New York while the team is on the road. Could be some impressive extended spring training lineups in the next few weeks.

• Girardi said he’s still planning to keep Dave Robertson out of the mix until Tuesday. “I think he’s better,” Girardi said.

• Chris Nelson is making his first appearance since coming to the Yankees earlier this week. “Want to get him in the mix,” Girardi said. “That’s why we went and got him. He’ll get a chance. He’s seen Bartolo before. I think he’s had a couple of at-bats against him, so we’ll get him in the mix.”

• Phil Hughes still doesn’t have a win this season. “I just think his stuff in each start has gotten a little bit better,” Girardi said. “The location of his fastball (and) his offspeed to me has gotten better. He’s pitched well enough to win his last couple of games, (but) we haven’t scored a lot of runs.”

• The Yankees are facing former teammate Bartolo Colon. “He has incredible command and movement on his fastball,” Girardi said. “He used to be more of a power pitcher. I would still consider him a power pitcher because you’re going to see so many fastballs. You’re just not going to see the 98s and 99s that you used to see. He’s always been able to induce ground balls. He’s always been able to keep his pitch count down because he’s so aggressive. He holds runners. He fields his position well. He does a lot of things right.”

Associated Press photos

Comments

comments

 

Advertisement

54 Responses to “Pregame notes: “I want Austin to get familiar””

  1. yankeefeminista May 4th, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Grrrr. Way to silence Romine’s bat; he was having great AB’s at AAA. Send him down if you’re not going to use him.

  2. MTU May 4th, 2013 at 11:43 am

    G.I. Joe.

    Question : How is Romine going to get “familiar” if you don’t play him ?

    Maybe he can just watch video tapes of the pitchers all day, or just catch their BP’s. That should do it.

    Yeah right !

    That is just unbelievable. Makes you wonder if AP complained or something ?

    :(

  3. Giuseppe Franco May 4th, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Well…..this reluctance to use Romine is an obvious sign they are trying to change the culture of this team by playing the younger talent.

    Or as some seemed to suggest a few days ago. LOL.

    Sigh.

  4. G. Love May 4th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I said it the other day, Girardi had some secret “I was a catcher!” plan that only he understands re: Romine. It really feels like he believes he’s the last word on catching on in the majors. It almost feels personal.

    He was a good catcher, but it’s not like he’s one of the all time defensive greats behind the dish. Tony Pena was better defensively. I wonder if Pena thinks you should take a kid from AAA who is finally healthy and hitting and make him ride the pine in some sort of fraternity hazing ritual while pushing a career backup to play more than he ever has while the depth of catching in the org is the lowest it’s been in years.

  5. Giuseppe Franco May 4th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Tough to develop young talent when you are reluctant to let them play.

  6. fantasygame101 May 4th, 2013 at 11:49 am

    romine is familiar with C.C bec. he was up 2 or 3 season ago. C.C. can pitch to an inexperienced catcher, he even liked to pitched to cervelli when cervelli was just starting. excuses, excuses to just put stewart there. I mean we are talking stewart here, not posey or McCann. If he will not play romine, how do I expect him to play musty or adams over nix regularly.

  7. Mike in Harrisburg May 4th, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Would love someone from the press to ask him how he is supposed to acclimatize to the rotation when he’s not allowed to catch them.

  8. G. Love May 4th, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Starting to wonder if the lame duck status of Girardi’s contract is beginning to show itself in his decision making.

    I’m sure they’ll give him an extension after his contract ends this year, but maybe it’s playing in his head that he better push what he has to win to insure that.

  9. fantasygame101 May 4th, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Girardi should be fired bec. he will not play younger players which is the direction the Yankees wants to go specially if they are serious about next yr budget. The time to develop and see if they can play is now.

  10. Captain Clutch May 4th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    The Yanks should just trade G.Sanchez now. If Girardi is still the manager when he is ready to come up he will never let him catch. When the Yanks are finally really to rebuild Girardi and Cashman should be gone. They have no idea how to involve the younger players and actually give them a chance.

  11. Niblick May 4th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Don’t worry. Stewie will get hurt soon enough, which will be the end of him. Unfortunately the Yanks will bring up Bobby Wilson and play him 7 days out of 6.

  12. J.R.Draper May 4th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    this is inexcusable. plain and simple. if they’re even hinting at blaming Romine for AP complete failure of a start they need to get the hell out of dodge cuz their f’ing morons. Romine was hitting .330′s in AAA he was hitting in Arizona Fall League, he is one of the best defensive catching prospects in Baseball and their benching him so he can “get familiar” with the staff. first of all if pitchers rely that much of their success on their catcher they’re in the wrong profession, and second how does one get experience cuz catching BP and sides doesn’t cut it. this is infuriating and embarrassing. this orginization needs to clean house and get guys in here that understand how to develop young talent cuz clearly they don’t now. with the exception of Cano. note to high schoolers and collegiate players don’t get drafted by the Yankees you will never play in the majors. Rant over.

  13. 4 NYY May 4th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Romine should be starting, this is nuts ! Give him a true test and let Stewie catch every 4th or 5th day for at least a month.

    Get familiar with the P’s, yeah right !

    Pitchers { especially the experienced guys } are in charge on the mound, they can shake off the pitch anytime.

    Catcher has to catch and throw.

  14. Tar May 4th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Joe is just toeing the company line. This has Cashman written all over it.

    Everyday line-up— Joe’s decision. When to start a rookie catcher– Cashman and company.

    Does Bartolo hit a lot of batters? I just have a feeling he’s going to plunk someone.

  15. MTU May 4th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Not starting a player you wish to develop is counterproductive.

    It really makes you go hmmmmmm.

    ;)

  16. yankee21 May 4th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Girardi is a real smart guy. He is actually smarter than most people think and he signals that in his answers and his body language to those that approach him on legitimate questions.
    Some people would call that smug and would call that a sign of someone that is lacking self confidence. I am one of them..

    However IMO he is not a smart manager, and not because he won’t play freaking Romine, it is the pattern of decisions he makes over the years that has struck me as irrational, entrenched and machine like.

    I think he is a good man outside the lines but I really can’t wait for him to move on and take some of his coaches like Robbie Thomson with him.

  17. MTU May 4th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    It’s kind of crazy because Girardi was picked for this job in part because of his ability to work w young players.

    Like he did w the Marlins.

    It just doesn’t make any sense. There has to be more to it.

    Catch (no pun) you all later.

    ;)

  18. Locke May 4th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    If the Yankees could get any living manager (even if currently under contract for another team) who would you want?

    Personally, I’d love to have Joe Maddon.

  19. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Good afternoon guys,

    I’ll wait for a little while on Romine ( here is hoping Girardi proves me wrong )…. But suffice is to say that I bet with Nick that Romine would not be playing much… This is a bet I want to lose…. But they like their vets… If they come from the scrap heap, the better ;)

  20. UnKnown May 4th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Like I said if Romine doesn’t start today there is no more hope. Pretty sure he won’t start tomorrow with Andy toeing the rubber, because of what is perceived to have happened last Monday.

    Just send the kid back down, if we need an emergency catcher Girardi himself should throw on the gear. He is probably secretly wanting it to come down to that anyway.

    I mean I don’t think for one second that Romine if he started today would hit 3 bombs or something, but again the other option is Chris Freaking Stewart. Joe is not deciding between playing Posey and Romine.

    Whatever, I’m over it. Let’s get a win today. Oh and if Stewie hits a 20 bounce hopper throw the infield today I don’t want to hear about it being a good decision to play him. Save it.

  21. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Blaming Cashman Tar?…. In this case, I think is Girardi’s call… But I am sure Cash in 100% in agreement

  22. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Unknown,

    Come on!! Stew is the especialist of 20 bounces infield hits… OTOH, Romine could disrupt the good pitching that we have had… On top of it, he may actually hit something out to the outfield, that would make Stew look really bad… G is only looking after Stew’s very frail ego ;)

  23. yankeefeminista May 4th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock May 4th, 2013 at 11:02 am
    jmills, glad you’re better, bro.
    ///

    blake, I don’t know what that projection for DePaula is based on, because he has a fastball/curve/changeup that all project to being a starter.
    ___
    Fastball is big league. He needs work on command generally but it was pretty good, and curveball esp. to lefties last night was impressive. No way anyone is considering De Paula OR JRam reliever material right now.

    jmills, if you were sick, glad you are recuperating. :)

    hi luis! thanks again for updates last night while I was at Charleston game; my phone was dying, so I had to limit my posting.

  24. Rich in NJ May 4th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    This is the same manager who got so much credit for developing young players in Florida?

  25. yankeefeminista May 4th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Romine is only on page 11 of the pitch framing manual (200 pages, I hear ;) ). Hopefully, Romine is a fast reader. However, as for applying the lessons, guess that will have to wait. And so will AB’s, but if he doesn’t hit; who cares, O is a bonus with our catchers or so we say…

  26. J. Alfred Prufrock May 4th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    However IMO he is not a smart manager, and not because he won’t play freaking Romine, it is the pattern of decisions he makes over the years that has struck me as irrational, entrenched and machine like.

    I think he is a good man outside the lines but I really can’t wait for him to move on and take some of his coaches like Robbie Thomson with him.
    ///

    I think this is right. For some reason, I guess because he’s the incumbent and because we won a World Series while he was in the dugout, he gets talked about as if he’s some kind of bullpen management star, an anti-Torre, and as if he’s Torre when it comes to handling personalities. So, basically, he’s Joe Torre with genius level bullpen management. ;)

    His greatest contribution here was overseeing Yankee pitchers to pitch inside more. He did incorporate some younger arms into the bullpen in 2009 (Aceves and Robertson, and Hughes, although it delayed his progress as a starter, was critical to us winning the division), but even there, he handled Robertson so strangely it nearly cost us; we were lucky it didn’t.

    In 2011, he absolutely imperiled the good chance they had of beating Detroit in that ALDS by pitching Ayala while we were down only two runs at home, instead of using a fresh (hadn’t pitched in like two days) Robertson… that’s a major fail because that is what you play all year for, and it’s one thing to get beat but it’s entirely unacceptable to induce defeat yourself with management moves that feel like it’s the middle of June, rather than a 3-and-your-out playoff series.

    I won’t revisit his non-existent use of the bench and refusal to change up the batting order. Even the “mainstream” media got on him for how he managed Game 2.

    Yes, he has to be a good person. How many people would risk their lives running across highways in darkness to aid a stranger with car trouble? He’s got a place in heaven for that, alone, but he’s just has too many blind spots – including this self-projection catching business – to be of any use to a team that isn’t already nearly perfectly conceived. They were too good to mess up in 2009, so I’ll give him some credit; he didn’t mess up enough to get in their way :D.

  27. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Hi YF!,

    My pleasure! ;) Command or control?… I mean, is he wild or just doesn’t command the corners yet… How about his CU?

  28. Rich in NJ May 4th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Girardi is smart. He’s just terminally stubborn.

  29. balotin May 4th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I think its all a conspiracy. Is it possible that Joe is being paid by another team not to play Romine? Or has Hal and Hank told Joe to bench him until more advertising dollars come in from the lettuce farmers?

  30. Rich in NJ May 4th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Late in the Torre regime, Cashman would have forced him to play Romine.

  31. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Hi primo,

    Check your message machine ;)

  32. yankeefeminista May 4th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Luis, command. Control is pretty good. CU was OK when he threw it. Fastball is electric, and he commanded it well. He threw a ton of curveballs in the later innings. Commanded ones were very effective, but some didn’t break at all. I guess they have him working on the pitch. I’d love to see another start.

  33. UnKnown May 4th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Romine is only on page 11 of the pitch framing manual (200 pages, I hear ). Hopefully, Romine is a fast reader.
    ———-

    Classic. Too funny, put sadly too accurate as well. :grin:

  34. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Rich in NJ May 4th, 2013 at 12:38 pm
    Late in the Torre regime, Cashman would have forced him to play Romine.

    ===================

    That was before 2008… That season marked Cashman… I don’t know why, but something happened after it… He sticks to what has worked for him ( scrap heap vets, he has been good at this )…But his “growing from within” is just lip talk

  35. austinmac May 4th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Locke,

    I would also pick Maddon. He is good and pretty funny as well.

  36. yankeefeminista May 4th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Also De Paula usually did a good job of keeping the fastball down, but when he didn’t he gave up a few more flyball outs than I would like. I think 5 fly outs.

  37. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    YF,

    Sorry to keep asking you questions about DePaula… What about his delivery?, is it consistent and smooth? or is it long and inconsistent? … Maybe somwhere in between?

  38. J. Alfred Prufrock May 4th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Hi luis, DePaula threw some nice changeups. He was good down in the zone with the fastball but missing and not finishing on the outside corner at times, then he’d start humming it there and get them to whiff on it. He was just killing the lefty-heavy lineup down and in consistently. He was pure heat in the 2nd inning, just turned it up a notch after feeling his way through the first when he left some pitches up. Later, he went more offspeed and really had a nice curve going the rest of the way.

  39. UnKnown May 4th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I think Nelson should definitely be playing today, because we need to see what he has and because I think he is a better option than Nix. Chris Nelson is 1 for 3 against Colon. Why even bring that up as a reason to play him if you are Joe?

    Just say we want to see what Chris is going to do today or something. Not everything has to be obtained from a computer. I mean 3 AB’s? I am sure that has CN really locked in against Bart :roll:

    Manage with a little feel once Joe, live dangerously and have a whole piece of bacon instead of a bite. (As been reported.)

  40. hardwired7 May 4th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    “I want Austin to get familiar…with the bench.”

  41. Rich in NJ May 4th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    True luis, but I think he and Torre had a different relationship. He didn’t hire Torre. Torre didn’t share his stat-based views (many of which I share, but I don’t agree with how he applies some of them).

    The recent public statements by Cashman about playing Youk, seemingly without his approval, may (who knows?) be his first big disagreement with Girardi.

    “But his “growing from within” is just lip talk”

    How they deal with the next wave will fully answer that question.

    I did think that Romine was one of their guys, but they are treating him like Montero.

  42. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I did think that Romine was one of their guys, but they are treating him like Montero.

    ===================

    Worse, because in Montero’s case they wanted to hide his lack of catching ability, so he wouldn’t hurt his trade value… In Romine’s case what is it then?… He is supposed to be good behind the plate…

  43. Rich in NJ May 4th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    “Worse, because in Montero’s case they wanted to hide his lack of catching ability, so he wouldn’t hurt his trade value… In Romine’s case what is it then?… He is supposed to be good behind the plate…”

    And worse because Martin is much better than Stew.

  44. yankeefeminista May 4th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Luis, pretty smooth and consistent, but still needs to work on it. He got out of whack occasionally. From what I have seen in past on video, and from what I’ve observed he isn’t throwing as hard as he might because they want mechanics to be more consistent; I think he will probably tick up a bit too.

  45. luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Stats are useful to identify trends and to a point project…But this game is played by human beings, so little bit of “feal” or “gut” should be in play as well

  46. willkamm May 4th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Not using Romine a day game after a night game? This is as bad as Torre played Girardi rather then Jorge. That’s what it reminds me of anyway.
    It was puzzling with Torre as he had talent and could hit. He caught, played 1st and 3rd. He won a batting title and if I recall correctly had about an .845 OPS lifetime.
    I honestly don’t think Girardi was ever talented enough to judge young players like Nova and Romine. Its a real shame too. I don’t understand this franchise. They have finally left me behind. I was raised watching Casey Stengel while rookies like Macdougald, Tresh, Bouton, Downing, etal were being brought up and played.
    This really is a new low for this team. They play mediocre scrap heap vets before they play kids.
    If Girardi and Cashman think this guy is not as good as Chris Stewart they may as well see what they can get for him.
    This is not like trying to decide whether to catch Yogi or Elston.

  47. J. Alfred Prufrock May 4th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    luis May 4th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Hi primo,

    Check your message machine ;)
    ///

    Heyyyyyyy! :D Got it! Sorry I wasn’t home.

  48. luis May 4th, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    This really is a new low for this team. They play mediocre scrap heap vets before they play kids.
    If Girardi and Cashman think this guy is not as good as Chris Stewart they may as well see what they can get for him.
    This is not like trying to decide whether to catch Yogi or Elston.

    ========================

    This… A few weeks ago I was discussing that the secret of success of the team was building a core from within and compliment it with good trades or FA’s… The other guy argued that the Yankees have always gone the vet route… Not at all

  49. Ys Guy May 4th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    bad work by joe girardi. this is valuable time in the development of romine. yes, he wasnt supposed to be here now, but he is here and sitting him down day after day is just a waste of time. they could get any crappy 4a level catcher to do that.

    if he’s not going to play romine, they they should send him back down to scranton.

    bad job skip!

  50. luis May 4th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    And worse because Martin is much better than Stew.

    ============================

    Almost anyone is better than Stew, even Martin ;)

  51. willkamm May 4th, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This would be like the Braves playing Gerald Laird over Evan Gattis. You think Tim Hudson gives two darns if Gattis isn’t a “pitch framer?” Gattis hits and Hudson knows you need to score runs to win.

  52. willkamm May 4th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    @Luis “A few weeks ago I was discussing that the secret of success of the team was building a core from within and compliment it with good trades or FA’s… The other guy argued that the Yankees have always gone the vet route… Not at all”

    As a kid I recall the farm system under Stengel/Weiss being the absolute strength of the team. Gil and Tommy Tresh won rookie of the year. Bouton, Downing, Ford, Mantle, Howard, Berra, were all products of the system. So were Mel, Roy White and Thurman later on.
    Key trades were made for Maris, Boyer, Ralph Terry etal.
    This stuff they are doing now makes me want to vomit. Its hard to tolerate.

  53. willkamm May 4th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    @ Captain Clutch: “The Yanks should just trade G.Sanchez now. If Girardi is still the manager when he is ready to come up he will never let him catch. When the Yanks are finally really to rebuild Girardi and Cashman should be gone. They have no idea how to involve the younger players and actually give them a chance.”

    You are right on sir. Neither has a clue on how to implement any long term plan that includes minor league prospects.

  54. willkamm May 4th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    @ Locke: “If the Yankees could get any living manager (even if currently under contract for another team) who would you want?”

    Terry Francona. No question about that. If he knows nothing else he knows the importance of offense and how to construct a lineup.

Leave a comment below


Sponsored by:
 

Search

    Advertisement

    Follow

    Mobile

    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.

Advertisement

Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581