Yankees News: Austin Romine Making All Strides Needed For Back Up Spot


The 2015 season is going to be the most important for New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine. After the Yankees traded Franscico Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the back up catcher duty became a two-man race. The Yankees will now have during spring training to decide whether Romine or John Ryan Murphy, will support Brian McCann for the 2015 season. The Yankees had Cervelli in the organization for some time, but now with him gone, Romine’s opportunity has presented itself.

Austin Romine has been with the New York Yankees for four seasons now. His biggest downfall has been injuries, which required a longer recovery time than most, but going into this season free of injury, he is able to prepare to the full extent. Austin has been training this off-season with his brother Andrew Romine, an infielder for the Detroit Tigers. According to the NY Daily News, Romine showed up to Tampa ten days early and 15 pounds lighter. His brother helped him on lower body strength and speed, which helps him edge Murphy. This should also help thrusts on swings to help his body follow through with his motions. 

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Which takes me to his biggest need, a bat. This is where Murphy stands out from Romine. Murphy showed promise when backing up for Cervelli for 32 games last season, which made him the favorite for the back up position. So going into spring training, Romine will be relying heavily on his new strength to get him where he needs to be. His best chance to secure the back up spot was in 2013. He played 60 games and the Yankees catcher position was wide open. In those 60 games he only hit for a .207 batting average. Last year, Murphy had only about half the at-bats as Romine had in 2013, yet had just about identical stat lines.

In a season where the Yankees are looking for hitting more than anything else, they’re going to play whoever they think fits that bill. This spring training will likely be what determines who wins the back up job. Once the season starts, whoever is there will stay for awhile. McCann missed a little over 20 games in his first season with New York, so whoever backs him up, has a big chance of seeing the field for extended time.

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