The Yankees catching job is going to be one of the biggest focuses after the starting rotation this spring. So it comes as no surprise that both Russell Martin and Jesus Montero have reported to spring training nearly a week early.
Both spoke to reporters today. Martin, who is recovering from both hip and knee surgery, admitted that he’s still not 100 percent, but added that he’s about 15 pounds lighter than he was last spring (ask a Dodger fan, they’ve heard that one before). Martin isn’t taking anything for granted and realizes that he’s playing for a job. He plans on catching a little bit tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Montero seems like he’s all business this year. If you don’t remember, last year he supposedly showed up to spring training out of shape and a few of the Yankees coaches made remarks about how he needs to step up before he’s big league ready.
This year it sounds different. Brian Costello of the NY Post reported that he looks like he lost weight (Montero not Costello himself) and that he’s focused on making the majors this year.
Montero said his goal is to win the starting job, but more than that he just wants to prove to people that he can be a catcher. He was also asked about being involved in so many trade rumors and he responded by saying that he wants to be a Yankee his whole career.
No word on whether or not Francisco Cervelli is there yet, but it doesn’t sound like it. He doesn’t have to report for six more days, but with all the question marks behind the plate and his up-and-down year last season (I’m being generous), it would be nice to see him in camp early. Maybe tomorrow.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had said earlier in the offseason that the starting job is Martin’s, but he did say previously that it would be an open competition. For the backup spot, Cashman left it open that it will be a three man competition between Cervelli, Montero, and Austin Romine.