Technically the final day of the exhibition season is tomorrow, but today is the last day the Yankees will play baseball in Florida. Although it’s the last day in camp, there are still jobs to be one and competitions going on but the Yankees will make those decisions either today or tomorrow when the Yankees make a quick trip to Washington to take on the Nationals. One of the competitions came to a close yesterday when the Yankees sent Chase Whitley down to the minors, kept Esmil Rogers as the long man and placed both Chasen Shreve and Chris Martin in the bullpen. However, there are two more competitions in camp that need ironing out.
Who’s The Closer?
— All offseason, the Yankees toyed with the idea of using both Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller as the closers. They both have a locked-in spot on the roster and with the departure of David Robertson, the Yankees figured they would use the “closer by committee”. However, after watching both Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller pitch this Spring, I’m convinced there should only be one closer–and it shouldn’t be Betances. Betances finally broke his streak of giving up a run in every outing, but his most recent outing had two runners on base. After watching Betances pitch all Spring, I wouldn’t feel comfortable sending him out there in the ninth inning, especially since he hasn’t ironed out his mechanics yet. Andrew Miller on the other hand has a 2.57 ERA and struck out eight in seven innings of work. With the season beginning on Monday, I’d feel more comfortable handing the ball off to Miller in the ninth inning. Girardi is still going to do “closer by committee” but unless Betances goes back to his 2014 form, I’ll hold my breath every time he comes in a game.
Who’s the Back-Up Catcher?
— One of the first competitions in camp still has no conclusion and that’s mainly because Joe Girardi plans on announcing the back-up catcher tomorrow evening. All Spring, the competition has been between Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy and what could be the deciding factor is Romine has no minor league options remaining Neither Romine or Murphy have looked impressive offensively this Spring, but the offense isn’t what’s going to be the deciding factor.
“I think defense has to come first in that situation.” Joe Girardi said. “Pitchers being comfortable, you want them to be able to work. So we have a tough decision.”
With options coming into play, it seems Romine could have the advantage, but as a thought, Romine could be a great option at catcher for any team.