Despite having a less than ideal situation at the catcher position, New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman told the New York Daily News that he “believes” top catching prospect Austin Romine “is more likely to begin the year in Triple-A”. The Yanks will be left with Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli as the only two catchers on the Opening Day roster, and neither of them are exactly world-beaters at the position.
Chris Stewart was worth 0.5 WAR in 55 games for the Yankees last season, and that mainly came on the strength of a very poor .292 OBP and almost no power to add to that. Stewart brings little to the table as a hitter, but he does provide some decent defense behind the plate and is faster than most catchers in this league. He actually bagged two stolen bases, which is the same number of bases that Nick Swisher had. That’s probably a useless stat, but I still find it interesting.
Here’s what Cashman told the NYDN (link above), “I expect Romine to go to Triple-A. He missed all of last year, almost . . . I don’t expect him to be our everyday catcher out of the gate. He always has the possibility of taking it, but realistically, if I were in prediction mode, I’d say Triple-A. But he has a chance to alter that.”
Romine is just 22 and will most likely get his call-up sooner than later in the 2013 season, but Cashman is making the best decision at this point in time. His prized young backup barely played last season due to a back injury (lower back strain, specifically), and Romine still needs some seasoning in the upper minors before the Yankees can definitively say that he is ready for a call-up.
Nobody is enamored with Cervelli and Stewart, but the Yankees are showing their due patience. The logic expressed by Cashman is solid, and I usually agree with his decisions as one of the better GMs in the game.
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