Austin Romine will be Gary Sanchez’s backup catcher 13

It’s been pretty hard to ignore how productive Kyle Higashioka has been in Spring Training this year.

But despite Higashioka’s strong spring, manager Joe Girardi said the team plans on sticking with last year’s backup catcher Austin Romine.

“I think we all thought going in that Romine had a leg up because of what he did last year and I still feel that way,” Girardi said after Wednesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. “Romine has played well. [Higashioka] has played well. I’ll give him that. … But I think it’s been looked at as Romine has probably been the guy.”

Romine hasn’t played since Wednesday night after his hand was clipped on a wild pitch in the seventh inning. He immediately underwent x-rays which came back negative. Romine was later diagnosed with a bone contusion and will be day-to-day. The Yankees hope they can have Romine back by Sunday’s game against the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach.

Romine enters the season without minor-league options, making the Yankees decision to keep him at the Major League level fairly easy. As for Higashioka, the Yankees anticipate he’ll start the season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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13 thoughts on “Austin Romine will be Gary Sanchez’s backup catcher

  • Jerry

    That was a no brainer. I thought Romine that a fantastic job last year. Defensively and with the bat, not overmatched and hit some pretty good pitchers. He deserves it.

  • Terry

    I agree with Jerry. Back up catcher is not an easy job. He's proven and his RBI to AB average was pretty high. Plus this gets Higgy ABs regularly at AAA, so he'll be ready and sharp if there's an injury. At AAA he'll work with the pitchers that don't make the big league club and get to know them well. They are a part of the future. It's a win win

    • go with the flow

      Sorry, Terry, you fail for citing "RBI and AB average." Austin Romine is awful, and in a tough AL East race, every little bit helps. Higgy has some potential with the bat that Romine never had.

      • Jerry

        Awful, I guess you didn't watch Yankee games last year. He's a backup catcher who did a fine job. Who wins the back up job because he's awful, guess Joe Girardi didn't think so gwtf.

    • buckeye balls

      agree that he's a good back up. My concern is tiring out Sanchez-hoping he can dh at least 40 times which means Romine could get 200 at bats. It would be interesting to see how he hits if he gets that many and gets exposed a bit.

  • Balt Yank

    I think Romine is a negative for the Yankees who need a backup catcher who can hit. I mean, Romine in the lineup is like having an NL team with a pitcher hitting. We've had better, let's not settle.

    • Jerry

      BY, how many teams have first string catchers that can hit?, let alone a backup catcher. In 165 at bats, Romine hit.244 , 11 doubles, 4 home runs, 26 rbis. That's pretty decent for 2nd string. What amounts would please everyone?

  • Olie

    For the 20 starts he will get,( barring a injury to Sanchez) Romine will be more than adequate! He handled the staff very well last year. His lack of offense shouldn't hurt at all.