Quick phone call with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman today. A few of the talking points:
Why John Ryan Murphy this time?
When the Yankees called up a catcher in Toronto, it was Austin Romine who got the call. This time, it was John Ryan Murphy. The difference is that this call-up is for a role with actual playing time. Romine was a third catcher. Murphy will be the No. 2, getting regular starts when Brian McCann sits.
“He’s the No. 1 catcher in Triple-A,” Cashman said. “And we had a real need where, when McCan isn’t playing, he’s going to play. … Now that we’re in a situation where when the No. 1 catcher isn’t there, the backup is obviously the starter, we’re going to take the best player.”
Is Derek Jeter’s hamstring healthy?
Cashman said he expects Jeter to play tomorrow.
“As of right now, we’re hopeful that’s a resolved issue,” Cashman said.
What about Brian Roberts’ back?
“We’ll see how he responds daily to treatment,” Cashman said. “Backs are tricky. Could be a couple of days. Could be slower. Could be quicker. … He may be a player for us as early as tomorrow, or it could be a week. I don’t know yet.”
By the way, Cashman said he’s not overly bothered by Roberts’ slow start at the plate.
“It’s a small sample,” Cashman said. “He had a good spring. He had a good Opening Day (actually a good second game of the year) and then he has struggled here in the games there after. It’s a small sample. He’s a pro. … When he’s healthy, I think you have a track record of what he is.”
Has Yangervis Solarte earned continued playing time?
Mark Teixeira is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday, and there seems to be at least some chance that he’ll return on that date (or at least soon after). What does that mean for the playing time of early rookie standout Yangervis Solarte?
“We’ll see,” Cashman said. “Those are decisions Joe (Girardi) will make on a daily basis. Tex isn’t back, so it’s not something I’m really focused on. … Like the anything else, the better you perform, the higher consideration you get.”
Have the Yankees been happy with their infield defense?
Asked about the infield defense, Cashman immediately pointed to the work of David Grabiner and Mike Fishman from the Yankees baseball analysis department. Cashman said it’s those two who have spearheaded the research that’s pushed the Yankees toward shifting their infield so often this season.
Cashman did not say that infield defense has been a problem or a concern, but he said that he believes the shifts being employed this year would be helpful for any infield. He stressed that the players and the coaching staff have been fully on board with the decision.
“(Grabiner and Fishman) really found a way to allow the players and the coaching staff to gravitate to this data that will benefit our defense even more,” Cashman said. “I think it’s important whether you have an exceptional defensive team or a team that might not compare as well as others. You’re always interested in getting players in the best place as possible.”
Associated Press photo