It’s one of the biggest cliches in baseball right along with, ‘we just have to take it one day at a time,’ but Austin Romine is getting closer to returning to the point where he may be ready to go sometime within the next week and his agent says he’s in the best shape of his life.
“All I can tell you (is) he’s feeling great, and ready to help the Yankees, Romine’s agent Bill Rose told Josh Norris of the Trentonian. “He is working exceedingly hard and is probably in the best shape of his life. He will play for Tampa next and then we’ll see. It’s up to the Yankees to decide how fast they move him.”
It seems likely that Romine will report directly to Triple-A after he finishes up his final rehab stop in Tampa. Things could get interesting after that though because a big part of the reason the Yankees traded for Chris Stewart was because they needed catching depth in the minors. With Romine returning the Yankees will have a number of options.
My guess is that they will stand pat, at least initially and probably until September when the rosters expand. One thing Brian Cashman loves is depth so I don’t see him getting rid of Stewart. Instead Francisco Cervelli and Romine will likely share catching duties at Triple-A for a while.
My hope is that Romine will be called up by September 1st, I wouldn’t mind it happening sooner, and take over as the backup. That’ll give the Yankees a little taste as to what they have and hopefully it can at least help them somewhat in how to proceed with Russell Martin and his impending free agency. The Yankees still have some decent depth at the catcher position in the minors, but besides Romine nobody who can be counted on for 2013 and probably 2014 too.