Yankees Ready To Make Jesus Montero The Starting Catcher

Via Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News:

The consensus among the Yankees’ high command is that [Jesus Montero] who turns 21 on Nov. 28 – is ready to assume the starting catcher’s job, according to a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking.

He will likely be given the chance to win the starting job during spring training, turning over a position that has belonged to Jorge Posada since 1998. The front office believes that Montero is already a better defensive catcher than the 39-year-old Posada, who has struggled behind the plate – and to stay healthy.

The plan would be for Montero to catch roughly 100 games, said a source, with Posada and Francisco Cervelli sharing the rest of the duties. Austin Romine, the Yank’s other blue-chip catching prospect, would start at Triple-A, potentially taking over Cervelli’s spot by midseason if he shows he is ready.

This may just be the Yankees trying to inflate his value by building up the perception of him. Or it could be that they really believe in him being able to handle 100 games or so behind the plate.

Let’s face it, Posada was never a great defensive catcher and he’s slipped even further over the past couple of years. Cervelli isn’t great with the glove work either so there may be nothing to lose by putting Montero behind the plate.

The most interesting part of this report to me was actually the part about Romine. If the Yankees are potentially ready to call him up this season then that could mean that Cervelli is on the trade market. He could actually be a half decent trade chip too.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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17 Responses to Yankees Ready To Make Jesus Montero The Starting Catcher

  1. Mindkind says:

    I love this report. The Yankees need to start inserting youth and energy into the team and catching is one position that is prime for the taking. Give Montero a chance to the earn the job and then give Romine

  2. Mindkind says:

    I love this report. The Yankees need to start inserting youth and energy into the team and catching is one position that is prime for the taking. Give Montero a chance to the earn the job and then give Romine a chance to earn the back up later on in the year. The thing about that is I wouldn't like to see such a good prospect like Austin wasted in a back up role. But hey he is better than Cervelli so the Yankees need to go with their best pieces.

  3. dutchsailor says:

    I'm not sure about starting him 100 games — it's a lot of pressure on a kid. He's only 20 years old. Catching requires so much more attention to the game than most other positions. I could see giving each of the three 50+ games a year, and get Montero's bat in the lineup more often as DH.

  4. I don't think there is much to be worried about. He's actually 21, not that it makes a huge difference, but it's not like Posada won't be there. So you're not locked in. Put him on the team with that idea and if he fails then you can always turn to Posada and Romine could very well be ready midway through next season as well.

  5. Tanned Tom says:

    I have long looked forward to this day, when Posada is eased out. A catchers main job is to handle the staff, and field his position. If he can hit a little, great. Posada is the reverse of that, always been a good hitter, but never been a good signal caller, always been hard to get along with, never been good at throwing out runners. Frankly I have always thought the Yanks made a mistake in letting Girardi leave. They should have traded Posada way back when. At this point he is a decided liability behind the plate. Let's see what Montero and Romine have got.

    • Rafael Santori says:

      You better look the statistics of Jorge Posada, including the fielding records of the following NYY catchers: Bill Dickey a Hall Fame .988, Yogi Berra a Hall of Fame .989, Elston Howard .993,Thurman Munson, .982, Jorge Posada .994.

      Hrs. Dickey 202, Berra 358, Howard 167, Muson 113 and Posada 261. Broke Mantle record of RBI in Post Season with 40. Games catch in Post Season 120, Berra it's second with 63.

      Tom respectfully suggest you find the proper statistics before you write, Girardi was a poor catcher and a bad Manager.

      • You really think fielding percentage is good for evaluating catchers?

        Also, besides the fact that RBI's are a poor stat, Mantle went straight to the World Series in his day. Posada has the benefit of the ALDS and ALCS. The same goes for Berra too.

        You couldn't come up with better stats than that?

        • Rafael Santori says:

          Evaluating it's important in any kind of sport or field, for what I can see from your argument,miss something important, do not forget that players today by playing more games they finish the seasons very week.With the Mantle health problems do you think he can perform the same way today?

          • Works both ways. Mantle probably played his entire career with a torn ACL. Today he has surgery to repair it and has a much better overall career. Posada has that benefit, Mantle and Berra didn't.

            I'm just saying, RBI's and fielding percentage are a bad judge of a player's value. On top of that counting stats are a bad way to judge players when modern players play in so many more games.

          • Rafael Santori says:


            What about applying your theory to Babe Ruth Record vs, the Modern HR Kings?

            Be honest you Posada it's not on your heaven site.

  6. What? That last part of your comment is out of whack. Posada has been a hall of famer. He's old now and never was an elite defender, but he was sturdy for years. We were lucky to get a chance to have him on our team. I think you are letting the last few years cloud your judgement because Clemens, Pettitte, Mussina, and a lot of other great pitchers never complained about him.

  7. Rafael Santori says:

    This is Montero Fielding record in the Venezuela League:

    G CH PO A E DP

    (3 seasons) C 80 564 478 75 11

    DP Fld% RFG PB SB CS CS%

    7 .980 6.91 15 82 52 39%

    The Venezuela league quality it.s like a USA Triple A.

    Montero need at least one more year seasoning at the Triple A Level

  8. "Be honest you Posada it’s not on your heaven site."

    I don't understand this.

    Also, what does any of this have to do with Babe Ruth and home runs?

  9. Rafael Santori says:

    Suggest you check Mark Feisand / Daily News article

    Friday November 5Th 2010.

    Please reply to our comments on Montero performance in Venezuela.

  10. You do know that those Venezuela numbers are from a year ago and that he was a backup, right?

  11. Rook says:

    I agree that Montero should be starting over Posada. Posada should be filling the back-up role. The perception seems to be that Posada should be the DH next season. Although his power numbers are still respectable I dont see him hitting as close to .300 as he used to. I personally would rather see someone who will hit for average in the DH spot. If for some reason the Yankees should miss out on Cliff Lee perhaps spending money on Crawford or Worth to play RF and Swisher DHing would not be a bad thing.

  12. You are want a guy who is likely to OPS at least .800 and is also making $13 million to sit on the bench?

    Also for the record Posada only ever hit .300 once in his career and has a career .275 batting average.

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