Predictions Entering Yankees Spring Training
The Yankees will send Gary Sanchez to Triple-A, anoint Austin Romine as backup catcher
Although it may not put the best lineup depth on the field come April 4th, sending Gary Sanchez to Scranton makes a world of long-term sense for the Yankees. For starters, the team has four off-days scattered throughout April. This makes it easier to keep Brian McCann rested out of the gate and initially limits the backup catcher’s playing time. Sending Sanchez down for about a month will delay his free agency by one year, thus keeping him under team control longer. Since I don’t see a handful of starts in a backup role being the make-or-break moment for the Yankees’ playoff push, sending the prized catching prospect to Triple-A seems like the smartest investment.
Now it comes down to which catcher wins the backup job between Austin Romine and Carlos Corporan. Neither name generates much buzz among fans, but Austin Romine, known better for his defensive ability, held his own at the plate in the minors last season (.260, 7 HR, and 49 RBIs in 338 AB). Romine is out of minor-league options, so breaking camp with the Yankees–if he earns the job in Spring Training–will allow the team to keep their catching depth by stashing Corporan in the minors with Sanchez for the time being.
Next: James Pazos or Jacob Lindgren?