Austin Romine seems to be developing a becoming-more-serious back problem. He missed time late last year with a back problem and then came to camp this year and missed almost two weeks. Now not even a month later it is a problem again.
“From what I understand, [Romine] felt a little pinch back there,” Girardi told Byran Hoch and Paul Hagen of MLB.com. ”I think they’re evaluating what the next step will be. He doesn’t feel great. He was feeling great, so it’s just rehabbing the issue that he has.
“I think it’s fair to say [he won't be ready to start the season]. I think it would be hard for him. He’s got some things. That core as a catcher has to be really strong. He has inflammation back there. I don’t know if he’ll have another test or not. Sometimes when you’re dealing with stuff like that, you have little setbacks and then you move forward.”
Yesterday the Yankees claimed Craig Tatum off of waivers on Wednesday. It was an odd move at the time, but it turns out it was in response to Romine’s latest setback.
Romine was once one of the Yankees top prospects, but more recently the polish has come off a bit as his bat hasn’t developed like they hoped. He’s still seen as having decent upside though as he looks to be a solid defensive catcher. However, if he develops a chronic back issue that forces him out from behind the plate that would ruin his value as a prospect.
It’s too early to say that is going to happen, but if it keeps lingering it will get to that point. Romine needs to go on the shelf and stay there until he can put this completely behind him.