Jorge Posada on Cervelli, Romine and the starting catching competition

Jorge Posada, who was invited to be a guest instructor at Yankees’ camp this Spring, hasn’t appeared in Tampa yet but he talked some baseball this morning with Jim Memelo and Jeff Nelson of Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio.

Among the topics discussed: Mariano Rivera‘s comeback, Kevin Youkilis as a Yankee, Derek Jeter‘s return from ankle surgery and most importantly, at least in my opinion, the Yankees’ current catching situation.

Posada knows a lot about catching for the New York Yankees so his perspective is certainly more welcomed than someone who never played the position. On the competition itself, Posada said, “Obviously whoever has the best spring is going to start. That probably changes throughout the year. We’ve got three young catchers and we’re going to hopefully look forward to seeing them compete. This is what baseball is all about. You don’t get the job, you earn the job. I think it’s going to be good.”

He also had something to say about Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine – two of the contestants in the Yankees’ version of “So You Want To Be A Starting Catcher”: “Cervelli, very energetic, very athletic, very quick behind the plate. He has a good arm. He’s a lot more mature now so I think it’s perfect timing for him right now. Romine, obviously a little younger, smart kid behind the plate. We like him very much but they don’t want to rush him, so we’ll see. He’s got a shot too. We’ll see what happens in the spring.”

I’m not so sure about the great arm thing in regards to Cervelli unless “great arm” is code for “able to throw the ball into centerfield with ease.” I seem to recall that sort of thing happening a few times with Cervelli behind the plate. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not as anti-Francisco Cervelli as some people in the baseball blogosphere or Yankees Twitterverse but he doesn’t exactly make me confident when he’s behind the plate. to his credit, Cervelli opted out of playing in the World Baseball Classic in order to fight for the starting catcher job so he’s taking things very seriously and it will be interesting to see how he does.

As for Romine, the main concern with him, is his health. He’s had back issues and missed the majority of the 2012 season with injuries. If he can remain healthy this Spring – and he was able to stay healthy while playing the Arizona Fall League late last year – he has a good chance of making some waves and giving the Yankees coaching staff something to think about. Another factor with Romine is his age and lack of Major League experience. Cervelli has caught some of the guys in the starting rotation in the past so the edge could be given to him for that reason.

Sometimes a competition brings out the best in players and Posada didn’t even address Chris Stewart who is the third player in this equation. It’ll be interesting to see how the guys respond to the scrutiny they receive this Spring because there will no doubt, be article after article dissecting this starting catching competition and hopefully the attention won’t turn into a negative for any of the players involved.

And may the best man win.


Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.

6 thoughts on “Jorge Posada on Cervelli, Romine and the starting catching competition

  1. David

    One of the things I love out of that is Posada's inclusive "we" — potentially indicating he'll be moving into a coaching/instructor position with the Yankees more long-term. Hurrah!

    But also, in regards to Cervelli, I do recall him tossing into CF — but two years ago. Maybe he's improved in the minors / winter last year?

    • srosegots

      It was so traumatizing that events from two years ago are still in my mind ;)

      And yes, to be fair to Cervelli, he didn't play a lot for the big club last year and hopefully his defense has improved. We shall see.

    • Yes, David, I found it curious how Jorge alternated between "we" and "they," perhaps indicating he'd like to be a more permanent fixture but the feeling wasn't quite mutual.

  2. Edmund_Dantes

    I hear Rube Baker is still available.

    • David

      But do we have enough Playboy / Frederick's catalogs laying about?

  3. That post wasn't saccarine enough for me. :-)

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