With Mark Teixeira being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, the Yankees had to shake up their roster. For the immediate future, first base duties will be split between Kelly Johnson and Francisco Cervelli. On the days Johnson is playing first, look for Yangervis Solarte to play third. With Cervelli getting time at first, the Yankees had to bring up another catcher.
The Yankees don’t have much depth at first base. Luckily, they don’t have the same problem at catcher. The Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre opened the season with two catchers that have experience in the Major Leagues. Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy, each spent some time with the Yankees in 2013. The addition of Brian McCann along with a stellar spring by Cervelli, did not leave a place on the roster for Murphy or Romine. So the plan was for them to split time behind the plate and at designated hitter in Scranton. Yesterday’s injury, at least for now, changes all that.
The Yanks recalled Romine to be the backup to McCann until Teixeira is healthy. There is no question Murphy would like to have been the one to get the call-up. Despite Romine getting the promotion, this shows how the Yankees feel Murphy. Keeping him in Triple-A, allows him to play–and catch–everyday. That means he gets to put in work everyday, and work with his pitching staff everyday. It’s the right move for Murphy in the long run. While Romine will be with the Yankees, he will more-than-likely be an emergency catcher, with Johnson playing first and Cervelli behind the plate when McCann is the designated hitter or gets an off day.
It remains to be seen how long Teixeira is out. If he misses significant time, the Yankees may change their strategy, but the way they handled it this morning, shows that they look at Murphy as the more valuable long-term option.