Austin Romine slides past Yan Gomes #10 of the Cleveland...

Austin Romine slides past Yan Gomes #10 of the Cleveland Indians to score a run in the sixth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. (June 3, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

All Austin Romine wants to do is play. And the rookie catcher is willing to bide his time until his name is called.

The way he's hit the ball lately, Yankees manager Joe Girardi may have no choice but to move up the timetable.

Entering Tuesday night against the Angels, Romine was batting .355 with a home run and four RBIs in his previous 11 games. He started the season 9-for-68 (.132) with no home runs and just two RBIs.

Romine, who got the start in place of Chris Stewart on Tuesday night, went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt.

The adjustments to his game, however slight, were both mental and physical. "I'm just able to slow [the game] down a little bit more," said Romine, who's appeared in 44 games. "The more I get to play, the easier it is to do that."

A small adjustment in his swing also has contributed to his recent success.

"I've tried to shorten it up just a little bit more to make better contact," Romine said. "I've been getting hits here and there, so I think just shortening up the approach and sticking with what I've been doing will help."

Whatever Romine has done to improve his hitting has been enough to impress Girardi, who plans on playing Romine and Stewart the rest of the season.

"We think he's made some really big improvements in his time here and we're happy with the way he's playing," Girardi said of Romine. "I don't feel like I need to run Stewart into the ground."

Keeping both of his catchers fresh and healthy has become a priority for Girardi, especially with Francisco Cervelli serving a 50-game suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis scandal.

Stewart was hit on his left thumb with a backswing in Monday night's 2-1 win over the Angels. X-rays were negative and Girardi said Stewart is fine.

"I can keep them both involved and active," Girardi said. "And a lot of times when you can do that, you can get more productivity . . . I talked about playing Romine a little bit more. But Stewart is going to catch a lot."

When Stewart is catching, Romine is making sure he is doing what it takes to be ready. "I'm still working when I'm not catching," Romine said. "I'm still doing catching drills and hitting a little bit more."

Even if Romine's playing time doesn't increase the final six weeks of the season, he understands the process and is willing to do whatever is asked of him.

"I kind of know my role. Chris is the starter," Romine said. "I just come in, look at the lineup and if I'm in there, I come ready to play. If not, I do my work and stay ready to play when I do get the call."

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