The backup catcher's job now looks like it will come down to a battle between two of the Yankees' top prospects.
Joe Girardi announced Friday afternoon that Francisco Cervelli's left foot, because of a fracture sustained when he fouled a ball off it Wednesday afternoon, would be in a boot for at least the next four weeks.
That means, as Girardi said, "everyone moves up the depth chart," including Jesus Montero and Austin Romine.
The opportunity Montero has talked about all spring -- making the big leagues this year -- is there for the taking.
He is still dogged by questions about his defense, but scouts and coaches have taken note of improvement they’ve seen in that area this spring.
“I’ve been really pleased with what he’s done,” Girardi said. “I’ve watched him frame the ball, catch the ball, I’ve been really happy with that. I’ve watched him throw, I’ve been happy with that. This is something he wants and you see him working like he wants it.”
Romine, a defensive standout who hit .268 with 10 homers and 69 RBI in a full season with Double-A Trenton last year, has impressed Girardi as well.
“He’s another kid who we believe is very talented,” Girardi said. “He hasn’t played at a level as high as Montero but I don’t necessarily think that would keep us from taking him. He’s another kid that does a lot of things right.”
One player who won't be getting any catching opportunities is Jorge Posada.
“We’re still planning on him being a DH,” Girardi said. “I can’t tell you 100 percent what’s going to happen over the next four weeks, but right now I don’t plan on having him catch in a game right now. Let’s see what the other guys can do.”