Yesterday, we graded Yankees starting catcher turned DH Brian McCann. Today, we’ll grade Austin Romine, who did a decent job as the Yankees backup catcher. While McCann saw less playing time behind the plate with Gary Sanchez in the picture, Romine saw less playing time altogether.
When the Yankees traded away John Ryan Murphy during the 2015 offseason, it left an opening for Austin Romine to become the Yankees backup catcher to Brian McCann. For the most part, Romine did an average job, hitting .242/.269/.382 with 4 homers and 26 RBI’s. Romine didn’t have overall value with the Yankees since his WAR was -0.2, but Romine did make his presence known.
So, with that said, let’s break down Romine’s season month by month:
April: Romine had 17 at-bats in April, but he made the most of them, getting five hits while driving in a run. For the month of April, Romine hit .294/.333/.353.
May: While McCann struggled in the month of May, Romine saw more playing time, getting 12 hits in 36 at-bats. Romine hit his first home run of the season and drove in six. For the month of May, Romine hit .324/.342/.514.
June: Romine had 33 at-bats in the month of June, but he was unable to capitalize on it, only notching five hits. However, he did hit one home run and drove in 7. For the month of June, Romine hit .152/.143/.303.
July: Romine had 29 at-bats in the month of July, and once again got his groove back, getting eight hits in that span. He also homered and drove in four runs. For the month of July, Romine hit .276/.290/.483.
August: August was not particularly kind to Romine, as he only had four hits in 22 at-bats. This was also the time where the Yankees brought in Gary Sanchez, so Romine started seeing less starts and more late-game insertions. For the month of August, Romine hit .182/.280/.318.
September: Romine saw 23 at-bats in the month of September, and only got five hits in that span. However, Romine did drive in four runs. For the month of September, Romine hit .217/.250/.261.
October: Romine had four at-bats and got one hit which drove in two runs. For the month of October, Romine hit .250/.250/.250.
The Verdict: As far as being a backup goes, Romine did his job. Was he spectacular? No. But he was also reliable and came through when the Yankees needed him. However, the Yankees now have three catchers on the roster, and the Yankees have made it clear it won’t be the case when Spring Training rolls around in February. Does that mean it’s the end of Austin Romine in pinstripes?
So what would be Austin Romine’s final grade?
FINAL GRADE: C+
Tomorrow: We grade Gary Sanchez, who broke rookie records and made an excellent first impression during the second half of the season.