Austin Romine

Change Of Persepctive

A year or so ago everyone in Yankeeland was screaming about the trade of Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero. Pineda was headed for shoulder surgery and Montero was a big league catcher. Now Montero has been demoted to the minors while Pineda is apparently throwing 95-mph in extended spring training.

I said it before and I will say it again, you can’t judge this trade until years have gone by. I think the fairest thing to say about it is that Montero simply didn’t fit the 2012 or 2013 Yankees. Sure, his bat looked like a huge asset, but where was that bat going to play? You can read this post about Montero’s demotion, I think it makes it very clear that he is not a viable big league catcher. The Yankees obviously were never going to come right out and say that, but they did tip their hand back in September of 2011 when they had Austin Romine fly across the country at the last minute so they could avoid putting Montero behind the plate. So, I think the Yankees did a smart thing and cashed in on Montero when his value was at its peak. They got a very good pitcher, who got hurt, and a very good prospect, who also got hurt. Both are on the way back and we may yet see a day when people say the Yankees “won” this trade. One thing is for sure, if Montero had been in pinstripes the past 14 months and posted the same .252/.293/.377 line he has with Seattle, plenty of fans would have screamed about how overrated he was. GM’s really do have a thankless job.

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I think it was a very good sign that Curtis Granderson looked like Curtis Granderson again last night. There are too many nights when the Yankees simply have too many dead spots in the lineup. Ichiro has doing nothing. Gardner is about what we expected him to be (maybe a little low in the OBP category). Wells was amazing in April, but has cooled considerably in May. So has Travis Hafner. The Yankees need Granderson just like they need Teixeira. The subs did some amazing things over the first quarter of the season, but it is time for the stars to earn their paychecks.

Larry?

Of all the bizarre things that have happened around the Yankees this spring, Brian Cashman talking about coaxing Larry (Chipper to everyone else) Jones out of retirement has to be up there. Here’s an excerpt from the link:

As a fun oddity about this already odd conversation with reporters, Cashman constantly referred to Jones as Larry instead of Chipper. It’s technically correct, but still…

“I’d take Larry in a heartbeat, I think everybody would,” Cashman said. “(But) I think if Larry was interested in playing, the team he’s got there in Atlanta would be the easiest one to come back for.”

First off, Larry? That being said, Chipper certainly had plenty in his bat last year so it isn’t a terrible idea. But, it’s sort of like someone in another organization trying to get Mariano to join them next year. Chipper is retired and Chipper is a Brave. That is that.

The Yankees added Ben Francisco today. Not a bad move, but Francisco is going to have to find the bat he displayed in 2010 and before to be of much use.

Bigger news is the Yankees’ decision to option Austin Romine to AAA. That means that barring an injury, Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are the catchers who will break camp with the team. And if that is indeed the case, you have to expect Cervelli to get more playing time than Stewart. It’s not a great situation, but if the Yankees didn’t think Romine was ready there were not a lot of other options.

Three weeks until Opening Day.